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The Ed Show for Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guests: Sen. Ron Wyden, Michael Greenberger, Jonathan Turley, Rep. Keith

Ellison, Michael Eric Dyson, John Nichols

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans.  And welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.

Now, we‘ve heard the term shared sacrifice a lot lately.  But the big oil executives, they really don‘t like the idea.  They went to Capitol Hill today to try to keep their big tax breaks right in place.  We‘ll let you hear what they had to say and I‘ll have a commentary.

This is THE ED SHOW.  Let‘s get to work.




SCHULTZ (voice-over):  The torturous truth today.  Surprisingly straight talk from Senator John McCain.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times.


SCHULTZ:  “We got our man,” so says Michele Bachmann.  Who is this “we” you speak of—don‘t you mean them and them under his watch?  Representative Keith Ellison on the latest episode of Bach-mania.

And over at FOX, they just won‘t let it go.


SARAH PALIN ®, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR:  Just so lacking of class and decency.


SCHULTZ:  Michael Eric Dyson on the phony friction being ginned up on the right.


SCHULTZ:  Great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks for joining us here on THE ED SHOW.

This is the story that has me fired up.  I love this number -- 90 percent of Americans blame Wall Street speculators for out of control gas prices in this country.  And you know what?  Americans have hit the nail right on the head.

This number is part of the reason the Senate Finance Committee called the heads of the five biggest U.S. oil companies to Capitol Hill today.  The five oil barons are enjoying record profits again when America is trying to claw out of one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression.

Chevron chairman, CEO, John Watson, showed exactly how out of touch big oil actually is.


JOHN WATSON, CHEVRON CHAIRMAN AND CEO:  I don‘t think the American people want shared sacrifice.  I think they want shared prosperity.


SCHULTZ:  I almost choked when I first heard that.  Prosperity. 

Prosperity for the middle class.  Prosperity for the working poor.

No, no, no.  Hold it right there.  I want you to consume exactly what Mr. Watson had to say.


WATSON:  I don‘t think the American people want shared sacrifice.  I think they want shared prosperity.


SCHULTZ:  He said he thinks.  He doesn‘t think the American people—you mean he knows what the American people want?  Do you think the American people want $4 a gallon gas and maybe more?

The American people have been sacrificing to big oil companies for years.

Here are just some of the numbers.  Let‘s go back to 2008.  The General Accountability Office did a survey.  There are 104 taxing entities across the world that contribute in to governments.  The United States of America is ranked number two when it comes to tax collection.

So, if you‘re an oil dude, this is a great place to do business.  And the oil boys—well, they have never shared any of that record prosperity that they‘re enjoying.

That‘s why Democrats want to repeal $21 billion in tax incentives for the big five oil companies over the next 10 years.

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson calls that discrimination?


REX TILLERSON, EXXONMOBIL CEO:  All of us here today recognize the strain that high gasoline prices impose on many Americans, particularly during difficult economic times.  And we owe it to our customers and to your constituents to address the topic of energy prices and taxes in an open, honest, and factual way.

Unfortunately, the tax changes under consideration that target the five U.S. companies represented here today failed to honor those goals.  It is not simply that they are misinformed and discriminatory.  They are counterproductive.


SCHULTZ:  So, we‘re misinformed, it‘s discriminatory, it‘s not fair to the big oil companies, they‘ve had record profits, and they really know what the American people think.

These five rich old white guys have no idea what discrimination is all about.  Not only do they get $3.98 a gallon from you, they get $21 billion out of our treasury.  That‘s not discrimination.  That‘s highway robbery.

Middle class Americans are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and they can‘t afford to shell out 75 bucks every time they fill up at the gas tank.

Senator Maria Cantwell pressed Tillerson on Wall Street speculation. 

Listen to this.


SEN. MARIA CANTWELL (D), WASHINGTON:  Could you comment about speculation, excessive speculation in the market and what effect you think it‘s having on today‘s prices?  What do you think the price would be today if it was based on fundamentals of just supply and demand?

TILLERSON:  Well, again, if you were to use a pure economic approach -

the economists would say would be set at the price to develop the next marginal barrel.


CANTWELL:  What do you think that would—what do you think that would be today?

TILLERSON:  Well, it‘s pretty hard to judge.  But it would be, you know, when we look at it‘s going to be somewhere in the $60 to $70 range.


SCHULTZ:  Wow.  That price—that is just absolutely a priceless sound bite.  Tillerson is really now starting to get pulled out of the woods a little bit on this story.

Tillerson just admitted that speculation adds 30 percent to 40 percent to every barrel of oil.  You need to understand what this guy is talking about, folks.  At least 30 percent of the price you pay at the pump is for nothing.

The last time oil was at $60 to $70 a barrel was back in June and August of 2009, back when you were paying only $2.50 to $2.70 a gallon instead of the nearly $4 a gallon you‘re paying today and $4 in some places around the country.

You know what that is?  That‘s around $20 -- 20 bucks right there.  Here it is.  Just 20 bucks -- 20 bucks out of your pocket that you give to Rex Tillerson and John Watson and the rest of those guys every time you fill up your tank because speculators are manipulating the prices.

And you know what those really mean Senate Democrats want to do?  You know the plan that the Senate Democrats have to turn this whole thing around?  You know what they really want from these oil barons?

One percent of their profit.  That‘s all.  One percent.

You think about where our treasury is right now.  You think about the history of subsidies and tax breaks for the oil industry in this country that has gone back decades.  And at a time when we really need to fix our treasury, we do have some brave legislators in Washington that are willing to bring these guys in and trot them out in front of the American people and ask for 1 percent.

Would you be willing to fix this country‘s finances by giving up 1 percent in tax revenue out of your paycheck?  I think you would.  I think most Americans I‘m just hunching tonight that, you know, most Americans would say, yes, I‘ll do that.

But wait a minute.  We‘ve got a strong pushback.  You see these oil companies they line the pockets of a lot of these politicians.

Listen to the pushback from Senator Orrin Hatch.  He‘s been around a long time.


SEN. ORRIN HATCH ®, UTAH:  I have a chart depicting what I expect this hearing to turn into and there you go.  That‘s a really nice picture.  I think that‘s very good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Who‘s the horse and who‘s the dog?

HATCH:  Well, I think we both know.  I know who the horse‘s ass is. 

I‘ll put it that way.



SCHULTZ:  Well, that wouldn‘t be you, would it, Senator?

The fact of the matter is that big oil has unbelievable influence in the United States Senate especially on the Republican side.  And I‘ll tell you tonight, there isn‘t going to be one Republican in the House or one Republican over in the Senate that is going to do anything to damage their relationship with big oil.

This is Chuck Schumer from New York.  Here he is.


SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK:  One of my colleagues suggested that this hearing is nothing more than a dog-and-pony show.  Well, you‘d have an easier time convincing the American people that a unicorn just flew into this hearing room than that these big oil companies need taxpayer subsidies.  That‘s the real fairy tale.


SCHULTZ:  That is a fairy tale.

So, those damn Democrats.  Doggone it.  They just do it all the time don‘t they?  They hate business!  They hate corporations!  They hate profit!

No, they love America and they‘re concerned about the future finances of America and they‘re going to the richest industry on the face of the earth and asking, can you give us just 1 percent of your profits?

Get your cell phones out.  I want to know what you think.  Tonight‘s question: should Republicans continue to give big oil tax breaks while cutting Medicare?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639.  And, of course, you can always go to our blog at  We‘ll give you the results later on in the show.

Joining me tonight is Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, who was at the hearing today.  And Michael Greenberger, a law school professor at the University of Maryland and former director of the division of trading and markets at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.

SEN. RON WYDEN (D), OREGON:  Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Senator Wyden, you first.

Back in 2005, you questioned this group.  It was six years ago.  You asked the oil executives if they needed subsidies for oil exploration.  I want to play that tape.  Here it is.


WYDEN:  Is the president wrong when he says we don‘t need incentives for oil and gas exploration?  If I could just have a yes or no answer and go right down the row beginning with you, Mr. Raymond.  Is the president wrong?

LEE RAYMOND, EXXONMOBIL:  No.  I don‘t think our company has asked for any incentives for exploration.

WYDEN:  Sir?


JAMES J. MULVA, CONOCOPHILLIPS:  In my oral comments, I said we do not need.  But what we do need though is access—

WYDEN:  Just a yes or no.

MULVA:  Yes.

WYDEN:  Sir?  The president is correct?


WYDEN:  Sir?


WYDEN:  All right.


SCHULTZ:  Senator Wyden, how did they respond to that question today, years later?

WYDEN:  Today, of course, they are doing a dramatic about face with a straight face, even though in 2005 their company said they didn‘t need subsidies when the price of oil was $55 a barrel.  Now they‘re saying we‘ll have all kinds of calamities in our economy if they don‘t get subsidies with $100 a barrel.

I just think it defies common sense, Ed.  The fact is they had an incredibly profitable quarter.  The reality now is we‘re going to have to show, and this is hopefully going to be bipartisan—we got Senator Susan Collins, for example, on our anti-speculation letter this week.  We‘re going to have to show on the floor that if we continue these energy policies, that‘s what‘s going to damage the economy.  You look at a trucking firm, a restaurant—they‘re the kind of people that are going to get clobbered if these prices continue.

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Greenberger, what is your response to the CEO, Mr.  Tillerson, when he actually admitted that speculation is throwing money on to the costs and really hitting the consumer?

MICHAEL GREENBERGER, PROF., UNIV. OF MARYLAND:  Well, as you said, that‘s a killer quote—because where speculators are brought under control and, by the way, Congress, when they passed Dodd-Frank, gave the Obama administration all the power to put speculators under control, the price of gasoline would go down to a price that is affordable for the middle class in the United States.

These tax subsidies amount to nothing more than welfare for the most profitable corporations in the history of the world.  While the elderly are expected to give up Medicare, these world record profit makers who don‘t need incentives are taking handouts from the same people who are suffering from the great recession.

SCHULTZ:  Senator Wyden, would you refer to it as welfare—a corporate welfare?

WYDEN:  I certainly would say that if they told us five years ago they didn‘t need the subsidies—and again, we‘re just talking about the majors and you look at the reality today, where even if you adjust for inflation they‘re doing better than in 2005 when they said they didn‘t need the subsidies.  Their arguments don‘t pass the smell test.

For example, Ed, today, we were told that they didn‘t have any opportunities for exploration.  You‘re from North Dakota.  You‘re seeing what they‘re doing in North Dakota.  What they‘re doing in Texas.  Shale is showing tremendous potential.

So, their arguments just don‘t stand up.


WYDEN:  I hope that next week, we‘re going to get some bipartisan support like we‘re starting to with our anti-speculation drive.

SCHULTZ:  What they‘re trying to do in North Dakota is reduce the taxes on the oil companies that are functioning there right now, yanking oil out of the ground like they‘ve never done before, and the economic expansion in that part of the country is unbelievable.

Look, they‘re never going to give up and the right wing is never going to give up.  Listen to Michele Bachmann today on a Minnesota radio station.  This is how the right wing is spinning all this.


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  If we pull those subsidies, what that will mean is the cost of energy will actually transfer to the consumer.  So, at the pump, our gas won‘t go down if we take away the subsidies.  The price of gas will actually go up.


SCHULTZ:  Mr. Greenberger, can you believe that?

GREENBERGER:  No, I can‘t believe that.  I mean, the fact of the matter is that reports we‘re getting out is our supply of oil is shooting up because the American people can‘t afford to pay gas.  I don‘t see how the oil companies paying 1 percent more in taxes will have anything to do with an increased price of gas.

I do see, however, and the villain in the piece that wasn‘t there today is Wall Street, the speculative bubble people, if the speculators are put in their place and limited as the 18 senators, including Susan Collins, a Republican, asked for yesterday, and if these oil companies will pay the extra 1 percent, we will balance, come closer to balancing the budget and we will reduce oil down to $2.50 to $3 a gallon.

SCHULTZ:  Senator Wyden, why can‘t the oil companies give up 1 percent of their profits?  With the economy the way it is, the way the middle class is getting hammered, why can‘t they do that?

WYDEN:  I‘m only going to ask them that they give up these subsidies the way they said they could in 2005.  I mean, the fact is if we can just get back to supply and demand, we will see, in my view, substantial progress on this issue for the consumer in the days ahead.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  And the CFTC—can the president put pressure on the CFTC?  The nominee is there, but they can put in position limits.

Senator, what about that?

WYDEN:  Certainly, the Congress can.  The fact of the matter is, this agency is stuck in a regulatory swamp.  They were supposed to have acted on this quite sometime ago, and what we have said as United States senators, 17 of us, we‘ve got to get this done by May 23rd.  That‘s a Memorial Day weekend.  Certainly, people are going to be driving a lot.

We‘re going to try to put a real edge behind this and get it done by May 23rd.

SCHULTZ:  But Mr. Greenberger, position limits would fix it.

GREENBERGER:  Position limits would fix this.  I think Senator Wyden is right.  In 2008, the Senate Democratic leadership presented a bill to the Senate, it got 53 votes, to take this out of the hands of the regulators and have Congress directly stop the speculation.

SCHULTZ:  It is just a political winner for the Democrats and for the White House.  They can‘t put enough pressure on Wall Street and these oil barons to turn it around.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, and, also, Michael Greenberger—great to have you with us tonight.

WYDEN:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Remember to answer tonight‘s text question there at the bottom of the screen.  I want to know what you think.

Senator John McCain delivered one huge smackdown to the Bushes who say torture led us to Osama bin Laden.  McCain says that is false.

Michele Bachmann can‘t bring herself to congratulate President Obama for killing Osama bin Laden.  Today, she gave herself credit.

And the righteous aren‘t done beating up President Obama for what happened at the White House last night.  You know, the Common deal.

That‘s all coming up.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Senator McCain got a clear cut answer from CIA Director Leon Panetta.  Torture of detainees did not lead us to bin Laden.

And later, Fox‘s crusade against Common‘s White House performance is still raging, and I think it smacks of racism.  That‘s next.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Torture did not lead us to Osama bin Laden.  And before we go any further, we want to say that CBS is reporting tonight that the Pentagon has video of the entire raid on helmet cam.  We‘ll bring you up-to-date on that as we get more details.

The truth delivered today in a scathing terms by Senator John McCain when it comes to torture—and he made clear that it is flat out misinformation that is coming from the Bushes.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  The former attorney general of the United States, Michael Mukasey, recently claimed, and I quote, “The intelligence that led to bin Laden began with a disclosure from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who broke like a dam under the pressure of harsh interrogation techniques that included waterboarding.  He loosed a torrent of information, including eventually the nickname of a trusted courier of bin Laden.”  That is false.


SCHULTZ:  And that is huge.

Here‘s where Senator McCain broke news, folks.  He got a clear answer from CIA Director Leon Panetta on whether the use of torture had anything to do with getting Osama bin Laden.


MCCAIN:  I asked the director of central intelligence, Leon Panetta, for the facts.  And I received the following information.  The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who was waterboarded 183 times.


SCHULTZ:  McCain said the trail to bin Laden began with a detainee in another country.  The United States did not conduct the interrogation which was standard and non-coercive.

But from the Bushes, we‘ve been percent hearing exactly the opposite.


LIZ CHENEY, CO-FOUNDER, KEEP AMERICA SAFE:  I think the fact that you‘ve clearly have the current CIA director saying that part of the intelligence came from enhanced interrogation, these are techniques that we know work.  That debate is over.

RICHARD CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT:  It wouldn‘t be surprising if in fact that program produced results that ultimately contributed to the success of this venture.

DONALD RUMSFELD, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY:  Well, in my view, we very likely would not have captured or killed Osama bin Laden had we not had the intelligence information we had.  So, I think that it‘s clear that that—those techniques that the CIA used worked.


SCHULTZ:  So, who‘s telling the truth?  Of course, Hannity, O‘Reilly, and the folks at FOX News have been pushing this stuff nonstop.

Let‘s bring in constitutional law professor of George Washington University, Mr. Jonathan Turley.

Jonathan, good to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ:  It just seems like this is just a fight to protect the legacy, but right to McCain‘s speech if we can—this is really scathing material in a major pushback on what we‘ve heard from former Bush administration officials.  How serious is it?

TURLEY:  Well, it‘s very serious.  It‘s incredibly distressing to see a former attorney general like Mukasey, who, by the way, effectively blocked any investigation of torture, then try to somehow redeem torture in the eyes of the world to try to announce its benefits.  And one of the most powerful things about McCain‘s speech is the truism that lies beneath it, where he says, you know, torture is simply immoral.

You know, this—I think much of the world is shocked by the debate that we‘re having—this whole question of did it yield useable intelligence has long been rejected by the world and by the United States in treaties as a viable argument for torture.

Torture isn‘t a war crime because it‘s never beneficial.  It‘s a war crime because it‘s immoral, because it is a war crime.

And you can imagine how we look to the world in this debate when you have all of these officials who not only say that they ordered torture, but are trying to sell the American people on how good torture really is.

SCHULTZ:  John McCain offers a certain amount of credibility, certainly because of his life experiences, but also because he was the Republican presidential nominee and candidate for 2008 that lost to President Obama.  I mean, doesn‘t this really put the Republican Party and all of his fellow Republican senators in somewhat of a position that makes them almost in an untenable position if they‘re going to continue this conversation?

TURLEY:  Well, quite frankly, the argument in favor of torture is shameful.  And I think having a man like John McCain, who was tortured, stand before his colleagues and speak that truth, it must be terribly embarrassing.

But, you know, at the end of the day, what‘s disturbing for many is that the people out there that are trying to sell the American people on torture are people that should have been investigated.  I mean, the president has said that waterboarding is torture as has Senator McCain.  Torture is a war crime.  We‘re under treaty obligations to investigate and prosecute war crimes.


SCHULTZ:  So, this obviously is a big call for President Obama as where we‘re going to go with this.

TURLEY:  Well, like many civil libertarians, I‘ve said for years that the president is making a terrible, terrible mistake by effectively blocking the prosecution of torture.  Both Attorney General Holder and President Obama have made it clear that they don‘t want people prosecuted for torture, and even Senator McCain has said that.  That he believes the president should say that no one will be prosecuted.

I‘m afraid that‘s just not how it goes.  You know, principles have consequences.  They come with responsibilities.  They‘re not always convenient.  You can‘t say something is a crime, even a war crime, but say we don‘t believe people should be prosecuted because they‘re people that were trying to help us.

SCHULTZ:  Jonathan Turley, thanks for joining us tonight on this subject.  Appreciate it so much.  Great to have you on THE ED SHOW.

Democrats in Wisconsin prepare for the GOP‘s next move.  Redistrict?  Before the recall election?  We‘re going to talk to John Nichols, Washington correspondent of “The Nation,” on that.

Michele Bachmann wants to be president, but she doesn‘t have the courage to congratulate President Obama for getting Osama bin Laden.  She‘s got a dandy of a comment.  That‘s next.



REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  This is a disaster in the making.  And that‘s why President Obama‘s policy of leading from behind is an outrage.  And people should be outraged at the foolishness of the president‘s decision. 


SCHULTZ:  Oh, yes.  That was Congresswoman Michele Bachmann lighting up the cameras at Fox back on May 1st, ripping into President Obama, probably around the same time the SEAL team was—well, they were dumping Osama bin Laden‘s cold, dead body into the Arabian Sea. 

Today, she claimed her share of the credit for bagging the number one terrorist on the face of the Earth.  You see, Bachmann is such a blind ideologue, she still can‘t bring herself to recognize the role the president of the United States played in getting Osama bin Laden. 

Her original statement on the subject read something like this: “I want to express my deepest gratitude to the men and women of the U.S.  military and intelligence community.” 

Certainly no mention of the president in that statement.  I guess it‘s pretty tough to recognize a freedom stealing gangster. 


BACHMANN:  We now have an imperial presidency. 

I think that it is gangster government. 

This it is for freedom. 

We‘re on to this gangster government. 

That‘s a gangster government. 

A gangster government. 

Really, now in Washington, I‘m a foreign correspondent on enemy lines. 


SCHULTZ:  On enemy lines.  Well, today, Bachmann and other lawmakers were allowed to see pictures of the dead Osama bin Laden.  Now according to Michele Bachmann, “today at the CIA, I saw the bin Laden photos.  I am convinced we got our man.” 

What is this “we” garbage?  Let me remind Americans watching tonight that this congresswoman from Minnesota has been the most vile person towards this White House and towards this president, the number one name caller out of the House, the attack dog with absolutely a determined attitude to bring this president down.

And we all know that if this mission had failed, Michele Bachmann would have been over on Fox saying, dog gone it; we missed him.  We missed Osama bin Laden. 

But now that we‘ve got him, we got our man.  Really?  We?  You got a turf in your pocket, Michele?  What‘s this we stuff?  Were you in the situation room? 

Let‘s take a look at that photo again.  I don‘t see Michele Bachmann in there.  America, do you?  Now the rumor is this picture is on her congressional wall.  She was there, oh, yes, in charge of refreshments when it was all going on.  And she was cheering on President Obama saying, Barack, do you think we‘ll get our man? 

What a phony. 

Joining me now is a man who knows Michele Bachmann well, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison. 

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA:  Great to be on, Ed, as always. 

SCHULTZ:  “We got Osama bin Laden.”  Is this another Bachmann classic? 

Does she—why doesn‘t she give any credit to the president at all? 

ELLISON:  Well, I think that it would offend her deepest sensibilities to congratulate the president, which would be a decent, statesman like thing to do.  It‘s just not within her to be that way. 

But, you know, the big important thing is that the American people appreciate President Obama.  They give him credit.  And that is the most important thing. 

I wouldn‘t urge anyone to wait on Michele Bachmann to do the honorable thing and to congratulate the president, as he is due, for the excellent work that he did, and of course the men and women of the military, and of course the countless nameless, faceless people who we will never know them.  But they did a good service for our country. 

SCHULTZ:  And of course she is the media darling for the psycho right wing.  Today, Glenn Beck says he likes Bachmann as a candidate because she can see, quote, “the enemies within the government.” 

She calls herself a foreign correspondent behind enemy lines.  Do people in Minnesota believe this garbage? 

ELLISON:  No.  But, you know, the fact is we have a very diverse state.  And I actually share a border with Michele.  And in my district, she couldn‘t possibly be successful.  But in her own, you  know, she plays to their fear and their attachment to issues like the pro-life cause.

And she tosses red meat to the base any time she can.  So the fact is that she is clever in that she knows how to keep herself elected even though she really hasn‘t introduced any bills, passed anything, really made any real progress for—

SCHULTZ:  And she has the highest foreclosure rate in her district in all of the state of Minnesota. 

ELLISON:  She sure does. 

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s talk about the story that‘s breaking now.  CBS News reporting that the Pentagon actually has video of the raid of Osama bin Laden.  We had a big discussion in this country about whether the pictures should be released.  Should we see the video? 

ELLISON:  Well, you know, again, my position is now and always will be I expect the American press to get their hands on all this stuff sooner or later.  I think the president should assess whether or not the disclosure of this information is too inflammatory at this time in order to safely release it.

But I suspect it will be released eventually.  But at this time, I think the real calculation is—is putting this in the stream of the public domain going to increase the chances of preserving life or decrease it?  And so my view, I think that, you know, I‘m just going to say that I‘ll defer it to the president‘s judgment on this one.

SCHULTZ:  Quickly, congressman, next week, the president is going to be giving a speech which is going to be directed at the Muslim world. 


SCHULTZ:  Is this necessary, in your opinion? 

ELLISON:  Well, I think it‘s a sign of a great leader.  So, look, in his speech, when he announced getting Osama bin Laden, he pointed out a fact which more Americans need to be aware of. 

SCHULTZ:  Yeah. 

ELLISON:  Which is Osama bin Laden has spilled a lot of Muslims‘ blood and has killed a lot and has defamed our religion, more than anyone else created this idea that Islam and terrorism are united,  So he‘s going to get back and take care of it. 

SCHULTZ:  And I‘m sure that Michele Bachmann will certainly support the president for that speech now that she‘s got “we” in her vocabulary instead of “I.”  Great to have you with us, congressman. 

ELLISON:  Always, my friend. 

SCHULTZ:  Appreciate your time, Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota.

Coming up, at the end of—at an end—should I say an end to the Republican argument against President Obama‘s economic policies?  Now I have the proof you won‘t want to miss. 

And Commons‘ White House performance, well, it is over, but the fake controversy at Fox News, well, it‘s still going strong.  Georgetown University‘s Michael Eric Dyson will weigh in on that and is it racism?


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Folks over at Fox are still on the attack about rapper Common‘s poetry reading at the White House last night.  Despite Common‘s squeaky clean performance last night and his reputation as a positive role model, Fox hasn‘t given up.  They are still saying the lyrics of one of his songs praise a cop killer, so he shouldn‘t have been invited to the White House. 

Fox‘s favorite half-term governor, Sarah Palin, is no exception. 


SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA:  The judgment—it‘s just so lacking class and decency and all that‘s good about America with an invite like this. 


SCHULTZ:  And of course Sarah Palin is in no position to be criticizing anyone for lacking class and decency.  She put a cross hairs on a map of congressional districts and told her followers, don‘t retreat, Reload.  Of course, Plain‘s not the only one still pushing the Common fake controversy. 

The kids on “Fox & Friends,” they got into it today. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The White House standing behind a controversial rapper. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Doesn‘t it seem like the president and the First Lady are endorsing what he has written about in the past? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I don‘t know how you can have any rap star come to the White House with any of their lyrics. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It fits the pattern of this White House and this president, from the time that he was a political neophyte in Chicago, has embraced an impulse among the cultural left to display hostility to law enforcement. 


SCHULTZ:  Hostility to law enforcement.  President Obama didn‘t seem too hostile this afternoon when he honored police officers at the White House at the Rose Garden. 


OBAMA:  I can‘t tell you how much I appreciate the efforts of law enforcement officials nationwide.  We‘re grateful for the sacrifices you and your families make.  And my administration is committed to making sure you get what you need. 

To all who wear the badge, thank you for keeping us safe. 


SCHULTZ:  He is just so hostile.  And he didn‘t seem too hostile last week either when he stopped to meet the members of the NYPD on his way to Ground Zero.  Fox News is scraping the bottom of the barrel with this manufactured attack.  And I think it all centers around race. 

For more, let me bring in Michael Eric Dyson, professor of sociology Georgetown University. 

What do you make of all of this?  Why is Fox pounding on this? 

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY:  To borrow the name of one rapper this is ludicrous.  Calling Common a gangster rapper is like calling Elizabeth Taylor a porn star.  It‘s like suggesting that Bruce Springsteen was a heavy metal artist. 

This is a nonstarter.  It‘s a fake controversy.  This is a way, Ed, of the right wing trying to make it truly the White House and trying to blacken Barack Obama. 

The Birther controversy first, after that bin Laden, and now blackening him by association with Common, because they got to find a way to, if you will, besmirch his character and to smudge the clear picture of him as a true American representing the heroic gesture of protecting the nation. 

Now the kind of psychic distortion that the right wing suffers causes them to, as you say, scrape the bottom of the barrel, to suggest that Common, one of the most eloquent, uplifting, positive, edifying rappers around, ever, is now a gangster rapper. 

It is ludicrous to begin with.  It‘s a racist gesture that suggests that Barack Obama, again, is not to be trusted.  And since they‘ve exhausted the bottom of the barrel, so to speak, they‘re scraping at the level of paint. 

SCHULTZ:  Michelle Malkin says it fits a pattern.  What pattern?  What do you think she means by that? 

DYSON:  I‘m not even sure what she means.  What she is probably trying to imply is that Barack Obama associates himself with questionable black people.  Reverend Jeremiah Wright is trying—you know, they‘re trying to bring that in the back door, because Common, of course, was a member of that church at one point. 

SCHULTZ:  I got to interrupt you.  Because I want to play this for you.  It is interesting you bring that up, professor.  This is Brent Bozell, Media Research Center, with Hannity tonight, just pushing that line.  Here it is.


BRENT BOZELL, MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER:  Here we go again, Sean.  It‘s another Reverend Wright.  It‘s another Bill Ayers scandal of the Obamas surrounding themselves with these anti-American, American-hating people.  But now at the White House, and now they‘re fitting these people—they‘re praising these poets who are celebrating people killing police officers. 


SCHULTZ:  American-hating people.  Your response, professor? 

DYSON:  It‘s ridiculous.  Jeremiah Wright, when Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were ducking service for their country, was on the front line and got commendations from Lyndon Baines Johnson.  So whatever criticism Jeremiah Wright put forth in America, it was out of a deep and profound love of this country and a disappointment that grows from that love.

And to suggest that Common or Jeremiah Wright or anybody else who criticizes this nation out of love is un-American leads me to ask the question, how then can this nation, especially conservatives, celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a traitor like Robert Lee, with traitors who flew the Confederate Flag, which is un-American.

You tell me who‘s the real traitor here.  Again, the right wing is engaging in the politics of distraction and I think they‘re racially driven.

SCHULTZ:  Racially driven?  You think it is race driven on Fox News? 

DYSON:  No question about that, because the fact is they can‘t even make distinctions.  Trying to call Common a gangster rapper is insane.  Not understanding how complicated and complex his lyrics are, not understanding that presidents always invite people.  Nixon invited Elvis. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, Bush invited Easy E back in 1991.  And I don‘t know where the criticism was there. 

Michael Eric Dyson, great to have you with us tonight. 

DYSON:  Always good to be here. 

SCHULTZ:  Thanks so much.  Speaker of the House John Boehner uses the debt ceiling as leverage for cuts to the poor and the elderly.  One group is speaking out against him.  You‘ll find out who next.


SCHULTZ:  And of course, we all remember the great Dick Cheney once said, “Reagan proved deficits didn‘t matter.”  That is except if there is a Democrat in the White House. 

The right wing still claims that President Obama‘s policies have put this country in a great hole.  It‘s Obama.  Now according to them, President Bush created policies that made great economic sense.  Well, I got a wall chart for you.  

Here‘s proof once and for all of why they are absolutely wrong.  Here‘s where the deficit would be without the outside factors.  Here is the economic downturn, The housing crisis, the stock market crash, et cetera, et cetera. 

And, of course, here is where Tarp comes into the picture.  Tarp and Freddie and Fannie, that‘s the problem right there on the graph.  Freddie, Fannie, and Tarp.  Of course, we hear the Republicans say we got to get rid of that. 

Then we have the stimulus package.  If you notice, President Obama‘s spending impact on the deficit, which, by the way, helped us avoid a second great depression, vanishes in just a few years as that goes down. 

So what‘s left?  Well, it‘s the Bush tax cuts.  Here we go.  Here‘s the wars in Afghanistan and also Iraq.  And there are the Bush tax cuts.  It‘s going to dip down here because the Bush tax cuts are going to expire in 2012. 

That‘s going to help the treasury.  In the long term, look what we get.  In fact, according to the folks who assembled this chart, those factors explain the entire deficit over the next ten years, the next decade. 

But of course, Republicans, they will continue to tout their economic policies as deficit killing.  They‘re using it right now to explain away the current Ryan budget plan, which slashes programs for the elderly, the sick, and the poor in this country. 

It‘s gotten so bad that a group of Catholic scholars wrote a letter to speaker of the House John Boehner, who is a fellow Catholic, and said this: the Republican proposal, they say is—get ready, folks—anti-life.  “It guts long-established protections for the most vulnerable members of society.” 

Time to call in my friend, Washington correspondent of “the Nation,” John Nichols.  When you have the Catholics coming out to a fellow Catholic who is the speaker of the House, saying something like this, what‘s it mean? 

JOHN NICHOLS, “THE NATION”:  It means a lot, Ed.  This is something we need to remember.  During the health care debate, the critical turning point was when the nuns came out.  And they said, you know, health care is important. 

There are a lot of Americans who really are on the knife‘s edge, Ed.  They are working class folks.  They may actually be anti-abortion.  They may be concerned about gay rights, something like that. 

But there‘s another side.  There are these moral sides of how we treat the poor.  And when the Catholic bishops, when nuns and others step forward and say, you know, this dialogue about cutting Medicare, cutting Medicaid is going to threaten the least among us, that resonates beyond just religious circles into all sorts of voting communities. 

SCHULTZ:  And for the P&L sheet for the country, the fact of the matter is you cannot deny that chart.  Will this information change Boehner?  Boehner said today that tax cuts are off the table. 

NICHOLS:  Well, yeah.  Boehner is not going to put tax cuts on the table. 

SCHULTZ:  I mean, the fact is he‘s using the debt ceiling.  You know, so he is saying, look, we‘re not going down the road of getting rid of the tax cuts.  But will the Catholics maybe force that moment where things might change? 

NICHOLS:  It‘s a part of the dialogue here, Ed.  Understand this, they lost the debate on the Ryan bill.  Those town hall meetings, the energy that was out there, these polls that show that 80 percent of Americans don‘t want them to cut Medicare and Medicaid—they‘re trying desperately now to shift the debate, to make this claim that oh, it‘s necessary to do all this in the debt ceiling moment. 

What the Catholic scholars and others who are stepping up now—a lot of moral voices—

SCHULTZ:  They call it anti-life. 

NICHOLS:  Yes.  That‘s a big deal, because this is getting us into a broader debate, not just the social issues, but the reality that economic decisions affect the quality of life. 

SCHULTZ:  John, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

John Nichols, Washington correspondent of “the Nation” with us. 

When we come back, we‘ll find out if Senator John Kyl corrected the record on his position on the General Motors loan.  That‘s next.


SCHULTZ:  Last night on this program, we were talking about the great turn around at General Motors.  And I played this sound bite from Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona. 


SEN. JON KYL ®, ARIZONA:  The people who would be paying the bill for this, the average worker in the United States, I don‘t think should be burdened with bailing out the auto companies, who have been sick for a long time. 

This is not something that is going to be repaid, as opposed to the financial markets where we expect to—hope to get most of the money back. 

SCHULTZ:  Not going to be repaid?  Senator Kyl from Arizona, how about a little character here, dude?  Put out a press release tomorrow stating exactly how that money is coming back to the Treasury. 


SCHULTZ:  You know, I‘m so disappointed.  I searched and searched the web today, checked all the press releases, all the wires.  I couldn‘t find anything from Senator Kyl‘s office. 

Now, look, folks.  We all know the Republicans lie.  But I thought maybe I could find one who is not going to be  running for re-election that might not be held hostage to any lobbyist, that might for once fess up that he actually didn‘t lie; he made a miscalculation, and that General Motors is paying back the loan to the Treasury.

And they are creating jobs and they are reinvesting in American workers.  Senator Kyl, you didn‘t surprise me.  But you did disappoint me. 

Tonight in our survey, I asked should Republicans continue to give big oil tax breaks while cutting Medicare?  Two percent of you said yes; 98 percent of you said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz. 



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