Guests: David Cay Johnston, James Peterson, Mike Rogers, Michelle Goldberg,
Sam Stein, Lisa Subeck, John Nichols
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW, tonight from New York.
Rush Limbaugh has politicized the death of a little girl. He says Democrats don‘t care about dead children. What a sick dude. And his party‘s sick policies are cheating millions of children out of succeeding in this country.
It‘s THE ED SHOW. Let‘s get to work.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA: Without this amendment, Minnesota could have gay marriage imposed on us.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): Michele Bachmann is surging in the New Hampshire polls, despite today‘s new details of her anti-gay agenda. I‘ll talk about it with Michelle Goldberg and Mike Rogers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she come at you?
SCHULTZ: In Wisconsin, Republican Justice David Prosser is still on the bench even though he‘s accused of choking his colleague. Tonight, there are new calls for him to step aside.
And Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma is literally above the law. He‘s playing games with the FAA and tonight, I‘m calling him out.
SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us tonight.
Right wing talkers, you see what they will do? They will use any story possible to make the Democrats look evil. Rush Limbaugh is at the top of the list. He‘s the worst of the worst.
Today, he used the Casey Anthony story to launch a shameful attack against liberals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Some of the hosts of the cable news shows—you know, I mean, what I don‘t understand about it is, they‘re all card carrying liberals. When does the death of a child bother them? This is about—I‘ve never seen them get so upset over the death of a child.
If the child had died two years earlier in the womb, this woman would be a star, she‘d a hero. Folks, I don‘t think that‘s a cliche to say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Slow day of show prep, huh, Rush? Garbage spews from the Drugster like that every day. And low information voters, well, they love the entertainment of it. They eat it up.
Republicans also claim that, you know, they are the party of life. And they prove time and again that they don‘t really give a damn about you after you‘re born. Republicans voted to repeal health care for kids with pre-existing conditions. How does that count? They cut food stamps, Pell grants, public education, child nutrition programs, Head Start, the list goes own and on.
And every American child has really a right to public education. I mean, this is one of the great foundations of America, when the doors open, everyone‘s welcome—the gifted, the challenged, the rich, the poor. That‘s what public education has always done for America. But, of course, the righties, they vilify it.
How about some safe water and some—some safe food and clean water, does that work? Do they have a right to pursue a great job?
Those are the rights Democrats fight for every day, including the children, Rush.
Republicans, you see, have been on this nonstop 30-year mission to murder the American Dream by protecting only the rich.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: Congress isn‘t going to approve hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes. It‘s simply not going to happen.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN ®, TEXAS: Let me be as clear as I know how. We‘re not for raising taxes through the front door or the back door during a fragile economic recovery, because we think that would make unemployment worse.
SEN. JIM DEMINT ®, SOUTH CAROLINA: We understand history.
Increasing taxes on job producers is not going to give us more revenue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We think it would make the job market worse. We think—it‘s a theory. It‘s a theory that we tried that didn‘t work. So, just hold it right there. The debate is over.
Republican economic policy has been a complete failure. The job creators have now more money in their pockets than ever before. And America still has record unemployment and how many in assets sit on the sidelines that they won‘t invest?
Senate Democrats are making what we could call a mild effort to tax millionaires. Tomorrow, Democrats plan to introduce—get this—a nonbinding—touche, touche—nonbinding sense of the Senate resolution. No shared sacrifice.
The resolution states, “It is the sense of the Senate, that any agreement to reduce the budget deficit should require that those earning $1 million or more per year make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort.”
Republicans—they, of course, are laughing at the idea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS ®, ALABAMA: It‘s the sense of the Senate. We‘re supposed to have legislation in place by August 2nd to deal with raising the debt limit and all of that. And that‘s got to be real numbers, real figures. So, I guess we can say that we‘ll begin to talk about something with this, well, the pathetic response from the majority leader.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Pathetic? Sessions and the Senate Republicans, they are the pathetic joke.
Republicans have no idea what the American people want. But, of course, they spew other stuff.
How about this? A new poll of swing state voters shows nearly 80 percent want to increase taxes on millionaires. Now, the same poll shows that 76 percent of voters in Ohio oppose cutting spending on Medicare, 77 percent of Missouri voters, 71 percent in Montana, and 69 percent of Minnesotans feel exactly the same way. I mean, folks, those are a massive majorities of purple state voters who are really done with this Republican plan of we think it will stymie the economy if we raise taxes on the rich folk.
Democrats need to hammer the righties with these numbers every single day. It works.
Republicans need—kind of like shiny objects like maybe a Casey Anthony trial to distract the American people. The facts are not on their side. But for a guy like the Drugster to claim liberals don‘t care about the life of a 2-year-old, and the murder of a child, is about as low as it gets.
But you see? They‘ll stoop to anything to make their case. Democrats have always fought for and wanted social and economic justice for all Americans.
And, of course, we talk about the income disparity in this country all the time. How can that be good for America? By the way, remember a few weeks ago when I was up with Big Eddie board here, in the studio? And I said I really want any state representative or any state senator from any state in the Union to come up to the board and explain to me how this is good for America, these three basic charts that I put up there? Nobody‘s taken me up on it. Come on!
Republicans want everyone to suck it up so that the Rushies of the world can get their tax cuts.
It‘s a theory—just remember that. Every time you hear them say we can‘t raise taxes on the job creators, the job creators are the little guys. They‘re the small businesses who can go to the local banks and get a loan and be a risk taker in our economy. That‘s who creates the jobs.
And when you have tight credit, you‘re not going to have the little guy going to the bank trying to do the American Dream. We have trillions of dollars of assets that aren‘t being utilized in our economy. We‘re all being hoodwinked by this Republican plan to think that, hey, we can‘t raise taxes on the job creators. The hell you can‘t.
Democrats need to stay strong on this, and they can‘t back down. This is the perfect time to do it on the heels of the Ryan plan, because that‘s really who they are. They don‘t care even about kids, or the elderly, or the students or the people that don‘t have the political clout.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight‘s question: Do Republicans care more about helping children or helping millionaires?
Text A for children, text B for millionaires to 622639 and you can always go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and comment there. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me tonight is Dr. James Peterson, director of Africana studies and associate professor of English at Lehigh University. He joins us tonight from Philadelphia.
Joining us in studio is David Cay Johnston, a columnist with “Reuters” and professor at Syracuse University of Law.
Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.
DR. JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Thanks for having me, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Dr. Peterson, have Republicans done anything to help children in these tough economy, in these recessionary times? And we‘re out of that now, and we have job creation, private sector jobs for the last 15 months. But through it all, have the Republicans come up in your opinion, with anything to help children?
PETERSON: No, Ed. It doesn‘t seem, at least from a policy perspective that they care so much about kids. I mean, when we look at this situation, and David Brooks, a conservative commentator, said it best, that the deal the Democrats put on the table is essentially a no-brainer, right? They want a three to one ratio of tax revenue to spending cuts. That‘s three times as much spending cuts as tax revenue. And these folks walked away from the deal.
When you look at this picture, we have to understand a number of different things. One, I think we need to reorder our understanding of the stimulus package, right? The stimulus came into place to plug holes that were left in our gaping economy as a result of the real estate implosion, right? And if you look at the short term versus the long term effects of this, in the short term, if we—if we did not repair our economy in the ways in which Democrats are proposing, what‘s going to happen, you‘re going to see after school care, other social services programs diminished, that exacerbates the workforces because people have to worry about where their kids are.
They want to eradicate the earned income tax credit which helps with child care. The hours of 3:00 and 6:00, those are the most vital hours for young kids in terms of teenage pregnancy and crime. So, these issues have a whole kind of reverberation effect, Ed.
SCHULTZ: And the evidence is so clear, the president continues to put out the olive branches and have an amiable tone about it.
Mr. Johnston, can we expect anything from this meeting that‘s going to take place tomorrow? Will there be any compromise that will be advantageous to Americans?
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, REUTERS COLUMNIST: I don‘t think so, Ed. And I think this is getting to be very, very troubling. There‘s an assumption out there that eventually the Republicans will come around and they‘ll have to settle so we don‘t default. I think we have to consider the real possibility that they‘re willing to submarine the entire history of American dominance in the last 70 years or so in order to achieve a point.
There‘s nowhere, if you think about it, they have made cutting taxes their sole issue. There‘s no idea of any other kind of building the country—I was in China last week, and you marvel at the roads they build, at the way that government sees the future.
What the Republicans have done is painted themselves into a corner. And they have nowhere to go but to say more and more tax cuts, even if it means the country goes into much deeper trouble than it‘s in now. And that will happen if we don‘t pay our debts.
SCHULTZ: Dr. Peterson, it‘s very clear that the Republican Party does not listen to people who don‘t have money.
SCHULTZ: Is that a bridge too far or --
PETERSON: No, that‘s pretty much the long and the short. Remember, they want everyone else to tighten their belts. They want school teachers, the educators, tighten your belts. Poor folks, tighten your belts. Immigrants, tighten your belts. Every social service has to tighten its belts, Medicare, tighten your belts.
But they want to insulate—the people you‘re calling job creators, that‘s very generous, Ed. They‘re not job creators, they‘re debt shufflers and CEOs of multinational corporations that outsource our labor force.
So, in the end, I have no idea how the Republicans see we‘re going to move forward and progress in this country—
SCHULTZ: It‘s all theory.
PETERSON: -- playing this chicken game with the debt ceiling.
SCHULTZ: It‘s a theory that‘s been played out before.
Mr. Johnston, economists from Northeastern University have released this study that I find really interesting. Between the second quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of last year, 2010, corporate profits captured 88 percent of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than 1 percent of the growth in real national income. I mean, doesn‘t—how can Americans not get this?
JOHNSTON: I think Americans do. I mean, the polls are showing that, the question they ask is, why is President Obama continuing to pursue this idea?
SCHULTZ: It‘s like the last guy at the dance.
JOHNSTON: Well, he thinks we‘ll have this post-partisan America where, you know, we‘ll get along. And he needs to recognize that he‘s got to be tough with these guys and say, you‘re putting the whole country at risk and distorting the economy on behalf of a very few people.
SCHULTZ: It doesn‘t that graph there prove that tax cuts for the rich only do one thing? And that‘s help the rich people.
JOHNSTON: Well, remember, this is a long term policy. The average income of Americans is up roughly in real terms 1 percent as reported on tax returns compared to 1980.
SCHULTZ: Dr. Peterson, where is the American middle class tonight and where are they going to be five years from now?
PETERSON: Well, tonight it‘s quickly eroding and five years from now, unless things drastically change, the middle class will not look at all as it looked as little as 20 years ago.
But to President Obama‘s credit, and we don‘t always like his approach to things, but the bottom line is, look at what he‘s dealing with, look at who he has to deal with, and look at the sort of radical rhetoric of the right that‘s just sort of paying homage only to tax cuts. And so, he‘s trying to get things done, but in this environment, I would say it‘s fairly excruciating.
When he does come out strong, you have commentators calling, using profanity to describe his attitude. So, he‘s kind of caught between a rock and hard place here in terms of trying to deal with some of these real tough issues.
SCHULTZ: Your thoughts?
JOHNSTON: Well, I think that‘s a very good point. The fact is, we have a president who can do no right. Even things he‘s done like the health care plan. Not perfect, but a vast improvement over what we have are all seen as wrong.
And there‘s—you know, I had somebody today say to me, well, under Obama we‘ve doubled the federal debt. Excuse me? That‘s not at all what‘s happened. In fact, President Obama‘s first budget had a smaller deficit than George Bush‘s last. And had his policies been put in place, where we would end the Bush tax cuts, we would have shrinking federal budget deficits.
PETERSON: That‘s right.
SCHULTZ: Dr. James Peterson, David Cay Johnson, great to have both of you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
PETERSON: Thank you for having me, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Remember to answer the question there at the bottom of the screen. We also want to know what you think all the time.
President Obama called out Republicans for opposing spending plans to improve the nation‘s infrastructure. But a new report shows many tough talking Republicans aren‘t as anti-spending as they want you to believe.
And if he were married to anyone else, he would just be your run of the mill bigot. Why are the views of Dr. Marcus Bachmann mattering to all of us? That‘s next.
SCHULTZ: Well, a number of experts out there are saying that there‘s no strong Republican front-runner for the presidential nomination. That might be true. But, of course, the money continues to flow in as the fundraising begs to differ.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney raised $18.25 million in the past three months. That‘s more than $5 million shy of where he was at this time four years ago, but it‘s still head and shoulders above the rest of the field. Congressman Ron Paul took in $3.5 million in three months. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is even further behind with $4.2 million.
And bringing up the rear with $2 million raised, of course, is Newt Gingrich. The fiscal conservative‘s campaign is actually more than $1 million in debt.
But there‘s one candidate who hasn‘t reported fund-raising totals as of yet. It‘s the candidate who is the—really now the number two in the polls in New Hampshire. More on that candidate next.
SCHULTZ: Well, she insists that she‘s running for president of the United States, but not to be anyone‘s judge. That wasn‘t always the case as Congresswoman Michele Bachmann surges ahead in the polls, her record of intolerance—well, it‘s getting a closer look.
Bachmann now finds herself in striking distance of Mitt Romney, gaining double-digits in New Hampshire just over the last few months. Part of Bachman‘s appeal is her right wing social agenda and it‘s catching fire. She‘s called same sex marriage, probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in the last, at least 30 years, she said.
A recent “Washington Post” article details how far Bachmann will go to make her views known. A gay Minnesota state senator said Bachmann would pray over his empty desk and warned him that promoting gay rights would lure kids into trying homosexuality out.
And Bachmann‘s views are in lock step with the views of her key strategist and husband, Dr. Marcus Bachmann. The health clinic he runs reportedly practices reparative therapy aimed at converting homosexuals into heterosexuals.
And in case you missed it, here‘s what Dr. Bachmann told a talk radio program just last year.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DR. MARCUS BACHMANN, REP. BACHMANN‘S HUSBAND: We have to understand barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. And just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn‘t mean that we‘re supposed to go down that road. That‘s what‘s called the sinful nature.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
Joining me now is Michelle Goldberg. She‘s a senior contributing
writer at “The Daily Beast” and author of “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of
Christian Nationalism.” And Mike Rogers, managing editor of RawStory.com
Great to have both of you with us tonight.
Michelle, are there things that we don‘t know about Michele Bachmann that we‘re going to find out?
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE DAILY BEAST: I think that we are slowly finding unite just how extreme both of them are and how rooted they are in a fundamentalist subculture, that is probably not a minority among the Republican Party, it‘s certainly foreign to much of the United States, you know? So, some of this really vitriolic language they‘ve used about gay people.
You know, Michele Bachmann in one of her speeches in 2006 talked about Melissa Etheridge‘s breast cancer as perhaps an opportunity for her to rethink her sexuality and turn toward spiritual things. So, for many, many years, Michele Bachmann has built her career on gay bashing, basically, and particularly on opposition to gay marriage.
SCHULTZ: Do you think she‘ll continue on this path now that she‘s getting on a higher level of visibility and her name recognition continues to grow?
GOLDBERG: I think that she has nothing to gain by stressing that aspect of her ideology on the public stage. I think there‘s absolutely no doubt that if God forbid she did become president of the United States, she would pursue that agenda vigorously.
Mike Rogers, you barbarian.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of this, Dr. Marcus Bachmann? Can he continue to play such a key role in her campaign with this kind of conversation taking place? What do you think?
MIKE ROGERS, RAWSTORY.COM: I don‘t think he will, and I think it‘s going to come back to bite him for a number of reasons, of course. His therapy center receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funding from Medicare. So, right there you have a disconnect between the candidate who doesn‘t believe in all of this, and then here‘s her husband who‘s accepting all this public money to perform what he would call or folks would call ex-gay therapy, which, of course, is very dangerous to individuals.
He acknowledges in that audio we don‘t act on these things. We don‘t have to go on that road. So, who is we, Dr. Bachmann? And that‘s what I‘d like to ask him and talk to him in person and say, what are you talking about, we?
SCHULTZ: Mike, is this going to create a problem for the Republican Party? I mean, it would seem to me that other candidates who are in competition to get the nomination, seeing the surge that Bachmann is having may consider coming out talking against her position which is so radical and against the mainstream. Would this be a problem for the Republicans?
ROGERS: I think it will be. I think we just saw in New York state, a Republican state Senate hand marriage equality to the state -- 19 million more people now eligible to get married, courtesy of the Republican Party who let that vote happened.
So, I think she‘s so out of step with the rest of the Republican Party who have coming to grips with the fact that this progress has been made so successfully in such a short amount of time that she will find herself in a position where she‘ll be turning off more voters than she‘ll be gaining.
SCHULTZ: Here‘s the dangerous thing about Michele Bachmann in my opinion. During the debate, I mean, she talked about Obamacare, is what she called it—said that she would repeal it, you could take it to the bank, it was going to happen, she made that very clear. Mike, how do we know she doesn‘t feel this way about an anti-gay agenda?
ROGERS: Well, one of the things she‘s been careful to do is talk about state by state and it‘s up to each state. She probably knows that she‘ll never be able to pass a constitutional amendment. That scares her so she‘ll keep working that angle. But at the same time she will go after that agenda and her husband become a wealthy man off of it.
So, these contradictions will keep coming up for her, I think it‘s going to cause her a lot of problems.
SCHULTZ: Michelle Goldberg, you know, Michelle Obama was criticized by some for statements while campaigning for her husband. I mean, is Marcus Bachmann is going to get the same treatment?
GOLDBERG: To be honest, I think he deserves more of that treatment than Michelle Obama does, because one thing Michele Bachmann has said, she believes in a fundamentalist model of marriage. She believes he is the head of family and she needs to be submissive to him.
So, his views have more of a bearing on the kind of president she would be than other candidates‘ spouses do.
SCHULTZ: I think that other candidates are going to be more mainstream. I mean, I think this is going to be a problem for Mitt Romney.
GOLDBERG: Yes. But she‘s in a difficult position, because, you know, while Mike is certainly right, that we have Republicans here in New York who fought for marriage equality. On the hole, the Republican Party, especially in the red states, is dominated by extreme social conservatives. So, anybody who wants to attack Michele Bachmann from the right is going to have a difficult time in a party whose philosophy is no enemies to the right.
SCHULTZ: I‘ll be shock if she doesn‘t win Iowa. I mean, I believe that she is going to win Iowa.
Michelle Goldberg, Mike Rogers, great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.
Senator James Inhofe introduces the pilots Bill of Rights? But it may have a little something to do with Senator Inhofe‘s wild, dangerous landing at a Texas airport last year.
And a FOX Business host comes up with a new attack on President Obama. David Asman is going after him for getting a college scholarship. And I‘ll give Asman a seminar is “Psycho Talk.”
And breaking news reported tonight by “The Washington Post”—quoting the newspaper, “President Obama is pressing congressional leaders to consider a far reaching debt reduction plan that would force Democrats to accept major changes to Social Security and Medicare, in exchange for Republican support for fresh tax revenue.” We will talk about it, it‘s a big twist in the budget debate.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Senator James Inhofe, the Republican from Oklahoma, has introduced something called the Pilot‘s Bill of Rights. I‘m a pilot, I‘m all ears.
But, you see, Senator Inhofe is the pilot who made a dangerous, completely wrong headed landing at an airport last October. It was at the Cameron County Airport in Texas, where he landed on a runway closed for repair. See, the runway had a large X on it and was full of construction workers who literally ran for their lives as Inhofe just hop-scotched over them, according to a construction supervisor.
The airport manager said this—
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARSHALL REECE, AIRPORT MANAGER: I‘ve got over 50 years flying, three tours in Vietnam. And I can assure you I have never seen such a reckless disregard for human life in my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, when Mr. Inhofe got out of the plane, he reportedly said, “what the hell is this? I was supposed to have unlimited airspace.” That has nothing to do with an X on the runway, my friend.
The FAA gave Inhofe really a huge break compared to any other pilot that may have done that, saying that his sanction should be remedial training instead of supervision. Inhofe is indignant saying, “I did nothing wrong, but at the time I could have suffered the revocation of a license.”
Did nothing wrong, really? He says the FAA is guilty of agency overreach. And he‘s introducing this bill, the Pilot‘s Bill of Rights? We‘re supposed to be excited about that. Not because it has any chance of passing, but because he feels privileged and he‘s bitter and he wants revenge.
And he‘s using his position to try to leverage that. Listen up, folks. I have 2,500 hours and I‘ve never landed on a runway that has an X on it, because basically, that X is there to say, hey, dumb ass, don‘t land here.
The fact that there were actually workers on the runway tells me, senator, you gotta get your eyes checked. And I think it‘s probably easier for you to introduce legislation and make a news story out of it than it is for you to pass the test again.
Major news tonight from the “Washington Post.” They say that the president will push congressional leaders on a deal to cut spending on Social Security and Medicare, in exchange for increased tax revenues. How will progressives react to this one?
Up next, Sam Stein of the “Huffington Post.” We‘ll talk about it.
SCHULTZ: President Obama used today‘s Twitter Town Hall to push for a solution to the country‘s debt crisis. But breaking news from the “Washington Post” tonight indicating that the president is considering a deal that would force major changes to Social Security and Medicare.
We‘ll have more on that with “Huffington Post” Sam Stein in just a moment. Earlier today, the president had strong words for Republicans threatening to default on our nation‘s debt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Never in our history has the United States defaulted on its debt. The debt ceiling should not be something that is used as a gun against the heads of the American people to extract tax breaks for corporate jet owners.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And how interesting it got. One of the questions posed was from a Tweet by House Speaker John Boehner. But the Republicans should be asking themselves where are the jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: There‘s some areas where the Republicans have been more resistant in cooperating, even though I think most objective observers think it‘s the right thing to do. I‘ll give you a specific example.
It‘s estimated that we have about two trillion dollars worth of infrastructure that needs to be rebuilt. We haven‘t gotten the kind of cooperation that I‘d like to see on some of those ideas and initiatives, But I‘m just going to keep on trying. And eventually I‘m sure the Speaker will see the light.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Mr. President, that is soft talking in the arena of rigidness and record number of filibusters. I don‘t get your position. But while the speaker and other Republican leaders pretend the party is united in opposing new government spending, the new Republicans in Congress, you know what they‘re doing? They‘re quietly trying to secure millions of government dollars.
According to the “Huffington Post,” no fewer than a dirty dozen freshman Republicans in the House lobbied to get government funds for their districts while publicly shouting about reckless federal spending.
Joining me tonight is Sam Stein, political reporter for the “Huffington Post,” who reported on that story. Good evening, Sam. Good to have you with us. First off, we have to ask you for your thoughts about, what do you make of “Washington Post” report tonight that tomorrow‘s meeting with the House and Senate leaders, the president is going to be pushing for entitlement cuts in exchange for Republican support for tax cuts?
What do you make of this tonight?
SAM STEIN, “THE HUFFINGTON POST”: It‘s a big deal, Ed. It‘s a new development, obviously, in these negotiations. We have to consider where these started, with near unanimous agreement that the debt ceiling should be raised by both Speaker Boehner‘s office and the presidency. At first, the White House was insisting on a clean vote. Now we‘ve gone to the point where we‘re basically mimicking the Bowles-Simpson Deficit Reduction Plan.
The Devil, of course, is in the details. But if you‘re talking about Social Security reforms, whether it‘s raising the retirement age or means testing, for instance, those are major, major, major concessions that are going to rankle a lot of Democrats.
SCHULTZ: Why in the world would the president go down this road when he has overwhelming support from the American people on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and then, of course, raising taxes on the Wealthiest Americans?
I mean, we‘re talking in the 70s and the 80 percentile on those categories. Why in the world would the president go down this road? Is he that fearful of a government shutdown?
STEIN: I think that‘s part of it. Obviously, the advisors close to the president think that it would be cataclysmic if the government were to default on its debt.
I think, secondarily, the White House wants to actually be seen as the ones making a grand bargain here. They the idea of a big deal. They like to be the ones who are labeled the deficit reduction—serious deficit reducers, not Republicans, who won‘t reduce deficit with cutting across the board and no tax revenue.
So I think they like that.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s remember the Democratic leaders have said that Social Security is off the table.
SCHULTZ: How are—are they going to agree with this?
STEIN: I think it undermines the party in two respects. One is on Social Security, which should have been off the table and was supposed to be off the table. Secondly, though, is Medicare. Keep in mind that a lesson learned from the recent special election in upstate New York was that Medicare cuts were an effective campaigning tool for Democrats.
Now if Obama were to go back and say, listen, I want to cut Medicare only on the supplier side, not the benefits side, that‘s a distinction that I think is very tough to sell. And I don‘t think that Democrats are going to be happy having to make it.
SCHULTZ: I think, Sam, this is a huge victory for the Republicans. We now have the capitulator in chief. This, in my opinion, goes beyond deal making.
STEIN: We have to see what‘s in the details.
SCHULTZ: OK, here‘s the details. The detail we know is that the Republicans are never going to cave in on tax cuts.
SCHULTZ: The other fact of the matter is, the American people are with the president on this. He doesn‘t have to negotiate. He is in a position of strength. And I think it‘s better for him to run out the clock than it is to turn on the majority of the American people and also undercut the Democratic stronghold of what‘s made this nation fantastic, which is Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
SCHULTZ: The key point is he‘s going to come up with a plan, and then he‘s going to go to the Democratic party, members in the Congress and say, listen, if you don‘t vote for this, you are basically sending us into default and you are undermining my presidency.
There‘s going to be a really tough choice for those House members who have been basically saying Social Security and Medicare should be off the table. Do they go and not support the president on this? I don‘t see them making that vote.
SCHULTZ: How about your report on the “Huffington Post” how these Freshmen Republicans, they‘re at the trough. I mean, they‘re sucking this money right up, aren‘t they? Yet they‘re out there.
STEIN: I thought you would never ask about my story. Basically, we did a longstanding research and reporting on this. We filed a Freedom of Information Act Request to see what freshman Republicans were requesting from federal agencies.
And it turns out that away from the public spotlight, a lot of them are actually petitioning the Department of Transportation and the Department of Agriculture for millions of dollars for projects in their district. Now this is basic politics. Money in district means jobs in districts.
The problem is that these people literally days later would go around and say that America has run out its credit card, that there‘s irresponsible fiscal spending and federal spending going on. So there‘s a hypocrisy element.
But the more important element here is that privately these people admit, infrastructure spending actually is good for job creation. The problem is they won‘t support a broader infrastructure package that can close that two trillion dollar hole that Obama spoke of.
SCHULTZ: Sam Stein, great to have you with us tonight. Excellent reporting, as always.
Fox Business host David Asman goes after President Obama for accepting a scholarship to college. I‘m going to reeducate Mr. Asman in the zone.
SCHULTZ: Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert found a new target for his anti-Obama anger, the recent release of the White House salary report. White House staffers make between 40,000 and 172,000 dollars a year. Many of them haven‘t had a raise since President Obama‘s inauguration.
But Louie Gohmert doesn‘t let facts get in the way of a good rant. Remember, he‘s the guy who fear mongered about terror babies. Last month he accused the president of helping Islamic terrorists. Now Gohmert is going after folks on the low end of the White House payroll.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT ®, TEXAS: This administration doesn‘t have anybody making less than 40,000 dollars. I guess there‘s just so much greatness when you‘re associated with this White House, you deserved to be paid more. I don‘t know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We‘re scrolling while we speak.
GOHMERT: Don‘t forget the 34 czars that are out there dictating policy. And let‘s face it, Garrett. When you‘re a dictator, you need to be paid more. And I am being sarcastic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Typical Republican talk. Gohmert‘s attacking the people making 40 grand a year, while he give tax breaks to Wall Street. And I want to point out that Louie Gohmert makes more money in his government job than the highest paid White House staffer. Gohmert rakes in 174,000 dollars a year to twiddle his thumbs alongside Republican buddies, with no jobs bill in sight.
This guy doesn‘t have a clue or a leg to stand on. But Gohmert‘s rambling wasn‘t enough to make it into Psycho Talk tonight. That honor belongs to Fox‘s David Asman.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: In Psycho Talk tonight, Fox Business Network‘s David Asman. He slams President Obama for being pro-education. Asman was railing about how government should not help kids pay for college. Then he took a psycho turn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID ASMAN, FOX BUSINESS ANCHOR: Successful people almost always tend to think that the route they took to success is the right route for everybody. Maybe that‘s why President Obama is so insistent that the government should guarantee everybody a college education.
There‘s no doubt that Obama himself used education to become successful. He gamed the education system for years, using scholarships and various connections to rise up in his field.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Taking advantage of scholarships is gaming the system. Middle classers, do you agree with that? These days, an instate school will run you more than 12,000 dollars a year. Private schools are more than 30 grand a year.
If Asman had it his way, and we did away with scholarships and government aide, many families would never be able to afford to send their kids to college. Of course, Asman had no problem about the way President Obama‘s predecessor got into college. W‘s membership in the lucky sperm club got him into Yale.
But in Asman‘s warped mind, it‘s President Obama who got all the breaks. To accuse the president of gaming the system because he earned a scholarship to college is elitist, Psycho Talk.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser accused of putting a female justice in a choke hold? The latest on that story. Plus the Wisconsin recall fight. John Nichols with us next on THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Finally tonight, the pressure is mounting for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser to take a leave of absence during an investigation into whether he physically assaulted a female justice on the court. Half a dozen women‘s groups have called on Prosser to step aside.
And so have elected officials. A letter for many of the Dane County supervisors in Madison, Wisconsin, asked Prosser to take a leave of absence until the sheriff‘s investigation is complete. It says, if he is found guilty of assault and does not resign, they will seek his removal.
Prosser is accused of assaulting another justice on the court in a discussion in her office with others present. Ann Walsh Bradley is the other justice. Justice Bradley said that this—she said this to the “Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.”
Her quote was, “the facts are that I was demanding that he get out of my office and he put his hands around my neck in anger, in a choke hold.”
The argument was over. Governor Scott Walker‘s anti-labor legislation, of course, because of Walker‘s anti-worker agenda—there are recall efforts underway to get rid of Republican lawmakers responsible for passing that legislation. But it gives you an idea just how heated the discussion was even in the offices of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, that allegedly Mr. Prosser would do this to a fellow justice.
Let‘s bring in John Nichols of the “Nation Magazine,” and Madison City Council member Lisa Subeck, who is also the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin.
Welcome to both of you tonight. Thank you so much. Lisa, there are witnesses to this. What is there to investigate?
LISA SUBECK, NARAL PRO-CHOICE WISCONSIN: You knowing, Ed, I‘m not sure what exactly there is to investigate. But certainly the investigators are working on getting the witness statements. And our hope is that Justice Prosser will step down, take a leave of absence, just as any other employee would be expected to during an investigation of this nature.
SCHULTZ: If he is found guilty, how would you remove him?
SUBECK: He should absolutely resign.
SCHULTZ: John Nichols, what‘s the atmosphere surrounding this story in Wisconsin?
JOHN NICHOLS, “THE NATION”: Ed, it‘s one of the most intense stories I‘ve ever been around. There‘s clearly a deep partisan divide around this story. The fact of the matter is that Ann Walsh Bradley is one of the most respected jurists in Wisconsin. She‘s never had a blemish on her name, never any controversy associated with her, elected the last time without opposition.
Justice David Prosser a far more controversial figure, someone you‘ve reported on a good deal on this show, who called the chief justice of the Supreme Court a bitch, and who then said he was going to destroy her, and acknowledged doing that.
Now he stands accused of this attack. His defenders have been
incredibly brutal in their criticisms of Ann Walsh Bradley. And it‘s
created a very painful circumstance, where an awful lot of Wisconsinites
who know both of these people are trying to sort it out, and really having
I think a lot of people are having a hard time imagining some of the things that are being said about Ann Walsh Bradley.
SCHULTZ: Lisa, they‘re saying that the—Justice Bradley initiated this confrontation. What about that?
SUBECK: You know, I—I think that‘s a case of blame the victim, Ed. I think that way too often, when someone is abusive toward another individual, particularly when a man is abusive toward a woman, in the workplace or otherwise, the instinct that he has is to blame the victim. I think that‘s exactly what‘s happening here.
Justice Bradley‘s story came out. She was the victim of an act of violence. And go forth and Justice Prosser comes along and says, you know what, it was her fault. I think it‘s just another case of blaming the victim here.
SCHULTZ: First it went to the Capital Police. Then it was referred to the sheriff‘s department of Dane County, sheriff‘s department. John Nichols, where is this? Has this taken a political twist in this investigation?
NICHOLS: I don‘t think so, Ed. There‘s two investigations going on. One is being handled by the Dane County Sheriff‘s Department. This operation has some terrific investigators, highly respected, not just in Wisconsin, but nationally.
They‘re on the case, doing the interviews, as they should. Additionally, there‘s a state judicial commission that has a responsibility to look at issues of this sort. It‘s not a policing agency. It‘s more of an internal one.
But they‘re also looking at it, two investigations going-forward. I think the question that‘s being asked now is how long is this going to take? It shouldn‘t take that long to ask these questions.
SCHULTZ: How many people in the workplace in America would get away with putting their hands where she claims he put them in a choke hold. Her quote was a choke hold. What is there to investigate here in the workplace?
NICHOLS: Go ahead, Lisa.
SUBECK: He should not get away with it. And quite frankly, in any other workplace, if somebody were accused of putting a co-worker in a choke hold, they would immediately be removed from their position. Even if there was an investigation going on, they would not be allowed to continue to work with that person.
SCHULTZ: John Nichols of “the Nation Magazine” and Madison City Councilwoman Lisa Subeck, thank you so much for joining us tonight. We will follow this story. The investigation continues.
Tonight in our surveying I asked, do Republicans care more about helping children or helping millionaires? Eleven percent of you said children; 89 percent of you said millionaires, I‘m an 89 percenter tonight.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. You can listen to my radio show
Sirius XM Radio, channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 p.m. “THE LAST WORD” with Lawrence O‘Donnell starts now. We‘ll see you tomorrow night from D.C.
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