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The Ed Show for Thursday, August 25, 2011

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guests: Paul Goodloe, Jim Cantore, Michael Eric Dyson, Zach Carter, Jim Moore, Mike Papantonio, Lizz Winstead

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW
tonight live in from Minneapolis.

Tonight, a state of emergency has been declared in Maryland.

The president has signed an emergency declaration in North Carolina.

Hurricane Irene is getting ready to pound the East Coast. And we
will have the latest with live reports.

And then there is the latest with the Republican front-runner for the
presidential nomination. The more we find out about Rick Perry, the less
there is to like.

This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get on work.


Washington. I think it`s a shady place.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Tonight there, is more on Rick Perry`s seedy
record in Texas. An explosive new report in "The Huffington Post" says
Rick Perry`s administration wanted to help Wall Street investors gamble on
how long retired Texas teachers would live.

Author of the report, Zach Carter, and our Rick Perry expert, Jim
Moore, are here.

The Dick Cheney memoir keeps popping out dandies. Guess which
country he wanted to bomb in 2007?

Tonight, "Daily Show" co-creator Lizz Winstead and Mike Papantonio
are here.

And the party that couldn`t be bothered to pay for two wars is back
at it again. Republicans are playing politics with disaster relief, as
Irene gets ready to pound the East Coast.


SCHULTZ: Good evening, folks. Good to have you with us tonight.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is now the clear-cut front-runner for the
Republican presidential nomination. He leads the pack by double digits and
three new national polls. Gallup has Perry ahead of Mitt Romney 25 percent
to 14 percent. Public Policy Polling put Perry ahead 27 percent to 17
percent. And Rasmussen shows Perry with an 11-point lead over Romney, 29
percent to 18 percent.

So, let`s welcome Governor Rick Perry of Texas to the national
spotlight that comes with being the new front-runner.

Now, the American public is about to find out who this guy is at the
top of the polls, and I don`t think they`re going to like him. In many
ways, he`s a lot like his Republican opponents. Like Mitt Romney, Perry is
a flip-flopper, changing his positions on Social Security and immigration.
Like Michele Bachmann, he`s prone boneheaded verbal gaffes such as
threatening violence against Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

But this new information that is coming out, it shows Perry could be
just another sleazy Texas politician. This is another Rick Perry classic.
Check it out.


PERRY: And I`ll promise you this, I`ll work every day to try to make
Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your life as I can.


SCHULTZ: This self-proclaimed anti-government crusader has created
thousands of government appointments for his political benefactors at
taxpayers` expense and presided over an attempted insurance scheme that
tried to profit from retired Texas schoolteachers. This is unbelievable.
We all know trading campaign contributions for government favors is almost
a sport in Washington, D.C., and I think if Rick Perry becomes president,
he will be the sport`s MVP.

Here`s what happened down in Texas. A state fund was setup by Perry
called The Texas Enterprise Fund, and it was supposed to promote business
growth, got it? Now, "The New York Times" revealed that the fund game
millions to companies that made campaign contributions to Governor Perry
and the Republican Governors Association, and, of course, Rick Perry was
the head of that association.

In fact, since 2001, almost half of all mega-donors to Rick Perry`s
gubernatorial campaign received business contracts, tax breaks or political
appointments. This is crony government at its worst, folks. And if you
have a hard time remembering what crony government can lead to think back
to almost six years ago this week.


GEORGE W. Bush, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Again I want to thank you all
for -- and, Brownie, you`re doing a heck of a job. FEMA`s director`s
working 24 ---



SCHULTZ: One of the biggest lessons of the Bush administration is
that crony government leads to bad government. In Texas, that crony
government helped Perry bring in campaign $102 million in campaign money
but that`s peanuts compared to the $700 million Perry tried to grab in 2003
by setting up an elaborate insurance scheme that targeted retired
schoolteachers in the state.

"The Huffington Post" reports that the plan would have allowed Swiss
banking giant UBS to buy life insurance policies on elderly teachers and
create a speculation business with Wall Street investors gambling on when
these teachers would die. The state would get paid for being the middle
man in this gambling ring.

If this sounds familiar to you, it`s because the setup is similar to
the same market scam that allowed Wall Street to bet on the value of
people`s homes leading to the financial collapse of 2008. I know it`s
unbelievable, isn`t it?

One of the architects of the mortgage-backed securities scandal was
former Republican senator from Texas, Phil Gramm.

And here`s a shocker for you: Graham was the UBS employee who helped
Perry set up the insurance scheme.

Now, the scheme ultimately collapsed when the details went public.
But even as Perry was planning on creating an elderly teacher death pool,
he was signing off on cutting benefits to retired teacher health plans. He
doesn`t quit.

You know, this is your front-runner, Republicans. This is your guy
that`s leading the polls. And if he does not waltz to the nomination, this
is the man who will be facing Barack Obama in 2012. Many think he will
waltz to the nomination.

He says he wants to make government insignificant. It turns out, it
seems to me, that government is very significant for Rick Perry`s wallet in
the way he operates.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.

Tonight`s text question: Given the reporting on Rick Perry, do you
trust him to run the government? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639.
And you can go to our blog at and comment on this story.
We`ll bring you the results of the poll later on in the program.

Joining me now is Zach Carter, reporter for "The Huffington Post" who
broke the details of Perry`s insurance scheme.

Zach, good to have you with us tonight. Excellent reporting.

How did Perry get retired teachers to sign on to this? Or did they
even know that this was going on?

ZACH CARTER, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Well, of course, the scheme
ultimately collapses, so nobody does actually sign up for it. But the
basic pitch that the Perry administration was making was to pay people $50
to $100 to sign over their consent to have UBS, this Swiss banking company,
take out life insurance policies on them. And if these life insurance
policies paid off when these people died, UBS and a bunch of Wall Street
speculators would make money, but the families of the retired teachers
would make nothing.

And one of the biggest problems, technical obstacles for this
program, of course because it was targeting elderly, was figuring out how
to get people between the ages of 75 and 90 to actually sign over their
rights here to give informed consent while proving they had the mental
capacity to do so.

SCHULTZ: Unbelievable. How active of a participant was Governor
Perry in all of this? Was he a ringleader in it? Was it his idea? Was he
pushing hard for it? How involved was he?

CARTER: This is what`s remarkable. When the Texas press catches
ahold of this in 2003, Perry sort of let`s Rick -- sorry, he let`s Phil
Gramm the fall guy for all of this. He says, well, I`m looking for any
good ideas that can help the state of Texas.

But it`s very clear from meeting those with the teachers group that
Rick Perry was actively pushing this, that he was well aware of the details
of the plan and that his administration really wanted this to happen. He
was trying to get teacher`s groups on board with this from the very

SCHULTZ: All right, well, Rick Perry has been re-elected governor
since this was all happening and since it went public. How did he handle
this in the campaign, and why didn`t it affect his campaign? Because he

CARTER: Well, that`s remarkable. Just about nobody involved with
this scheme ends up taking a serious political hit. Rick Perry and Phil
Gramm remain very close to this day. I mean, Phil Gramm has just endorsed
Perry for president. Rick Perry`s son goes to work for UBS, shortly after
this happens, and then UBS makes a big pitch led by Phil Gramm to privatize
the Texas state lottery just a few years later.

So, it didn`t seem to have much of a long-term impact on his
political career at all, but it is still a remarkably more of scheme for
taxpayers to be sort of playing bookie here for Wall Street gamblers going
after, you know, dead teachers.

SCHULTZ: Zach, address the cronyism. I mean, if you give the Rick
Perry`s campaign, are you going to get a deal in the end somewhere?

CARTER: Well, it depends. But generally in politics, you`re much
more likely to get the ear of lawmakers and elected officials if you spend
a lot of money on campaign contributions.

Now, Phil Gramm certainly spent a lot of money on campaign
contributions. He gave hundreds and thousands of dollars to Rick Perry`s
gubernatorial campaign.

But Rick Perry and Phil Gramm go way back. Perry was a student at
Phil Gramm`s Texas A&M University who was an economic student for him. And
we had a source for the story which said he literally worships at Phil
Gramm`s feet economically.

So this goes very, have been far back. They`re very close. But, of
course, there`s an awful lot of money involved in it as well.

SCHULTZ: So the underlying message, I think, in this story is in the
big picture, Wall Street is really going to like Rick Perry. Can we draw
that conclusion?

I mean, this guy`s willing to do deals so big financial firms and
banks can haul in a ton of dough. I mean, that`s what I`m taking from your
story. I mean, this guy is going to be Wall Street friendly if he`s ever
given the opportunity. Fair enough?

CARTER: Just about the only thing that`s clear from this deal that
Phil Gramm concocts is that he and UBS are going to make a lot of money
very quickly. It`s not really clear people who actually buy these bonds
are going to do and it`s really not clear how Texas is going do. It`s
certainly clear that retired teachers and working people will not see a
dime there this.

But it`s obvious that right up front, immediately, a giant Wall
Street bank and one of its top operatives is going to make quite a bit of

SCHULTZ: And we urge our viewers on THE ED SHOW tonight to go to
"The Huffington Post" and see the excellent report by Zach Carter and learn
more about Rick Perry.

Zach, good job tonight. We`ll have you back no doubt.

Now, let`s turn to Jim Moore, "Huffington Post" contributor and
author of the upcoming book "Adios Mofo: Why Rick Perry Will Make America
Miss George W. Bush."

I think we just pointed to a story that will be in your book.


SCHULTZ: What do you make of this story? And how did it fizzle out?
What happened here from what you know, Jim?

MOORE: Well, it`s very much like what happens down here all of the
time is it gets a little bit of attention, and then everybody goes, well,
this is just the way Texas government runs. It`s pay for play.

You know, Ed, last night, you had on your show a teacher talking
about the tens of thousands of teachers who are going to lose their jobs.
And if people will just pay a little bit of attention for just a few
minutes to a number of stories that are coming out on your program and
others, about the way this guy uses the government like an ATM, at the same
time that he`s getting rid of tens of thousands of teachers, he`s
approached by a guy named Red McCombs, a former automobile dealer from San
Antonio, owned the Spurs, a big-time business guy -- who wants to bring
Formula 1 racing to Austin.

We`re cutting $4 billion out of the budget to get I received teachers
and cutbacks at schools, but at the same time, Perry gets the state to
commit to $10 million a year -- $25 million a year over the next 10 years.
My math isn`t very good but I think that`s about $48,000 a year for 500
teachers but instead we`re end up with a Formula 1 track because of an
influential supporter of Rick Perry, who`s given him hundreds of thousands
of dollars through the years.

This is how he runs government.

SCHULTZ: And can our viewers tonight visualize this Formula 1 track,
maybe casting a shadow when the sun is going down over schools in the
neighborhood that are rundown, that are under-resourced?

I mean, that`s basically the picture I`m taking from what you`re
saying tonight on that story, Jim. Excellent reporting.

Also, how do you -- do you think that this story that`s in "The
Huffington Post" could haunt him in his run for the nomination? I mean,
why wouldn`t the other candidates jump all over this if they`re trying to
defeat Rick Perry?

Now, he survived it in re-election bid obviously for the governor`s
chair in Texas, but do you think that this will have a national impact?

MOORE: I think people have to look at these things and then project
forward -- as you`re suggesting, Ed -- how will he run the United States
government? You know, he says he wants government to be as inconsequential
as possible in our lives. But if you`re a big business, it is not

Now, I`m going to speculate here that what he does when he becomes
president, he`s looking that the big pot of money that`s sitting over there
that`s Social Security, and just as Karl Rove began to suggest, maybe take
a piece of that money and give it to Wall Street and say, oh, let Wall
Street grow this fund, let Wall Street make this bigger, instead of just
letting it accumulate its annual growth.

These are the kinds of things that you can expect under Rick Perry.
Big business is going to have a friend and he`s going to write every check
that they want and little guys are going to have a very difficult time
getting from day to day.

SCHULTZ: What do you make of him jumping out in all of the polls
that we`ve quoted at the top of this broadcast tonight? I mean, he has
just --


SCHULTZ: -- thrust himself now the front now the double digits,
ahead of Mitt Romney and ahead of Michele Bachmann. And if you take a
critical look at Bachmann`s campaign ever since Perry`s jumped in, this
could be the beginning of the end of Bachmann.

What do you make of the polling?

MOORE: Well, two things. Number one, as you know, American
politics, Ed, are very visceral and it`s about how you look and sound.

Rick is obviously a guy that looks very good to camera. He`s very
poised on the podium, and he communicates well.

The trouble is when he communicates honestly about things -- that
does him some harm.


MOORE: And the other issue here is the animating forces, as I`ve
suggested before, within the primary process. And Rick -- Rick is
communicating to right wingers, fundamentals, evangelicals, people who
really believe in these radical concepts that he has, and the more he
communicates with them the better he does in that nominating process.

Let`s hope that this doesn`t transfer into a general election.

SCHULTZ: Jim Moore, great to have you with us. Thanks so much for
joining us tonight. I appreciate it.

MOORE: My pleasure, Ed.

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

Did Dick Cheney tell-all book, got it coming out, no retreat, no
regrets? I mean, he`s just digging in.

And the East Coast is preparing for a major storm, hurricane Irene is
coming. We`ll bring you the latest.

Stay with us. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: This morning, I picked up an article from "The Hill" titled
"House GOP lawmakers worried voters anger over an economy could sting
them." A comment which was made by Republican Congressman Tim Johnson of
Illinois really jumped out at me in this article when he said, quote, "I`ve
never seen people as angry as they are right now. Being an incumbent in
either chamber, in either party is an unpopular brand. I`m trying to show
people that I`m different, that I listen, and they don`t engage in a lot of

I`ll tell what, folks? When I read that, I was jumping up for joy.
When I read Johnson`s statement I had the producers of this show, THE ED
SHOW, get ahold of him right away, because I wanted to speak to a
Republican who isn`t interested in playing partisan games and is about his
own party`s plan to create jobs. You know what I mean? I wanted to talk
to somebody who wanted to do something to create jobs.

And to his credit, Johnson agreed to come on this program. I mean,
we booked the studio. We were ready to rock and roll. He was all locked
up -- and then he must have talked to somebody and then Johnson chickened

Congressman, the invitation remains on the table. I want to be
having an honest discussion with you about John Boehner`s plan for helping
President Obama create jobs, because I know that`s what everybody in this
country`s talking about: jobs.

I want to know what the Republicans will do to help the unemployed,
to fund schools, and encourage big business to maybe reinvest in American
workers. I mean, I`d like to know.

Congressman Johnson, if you want to have a nonpartisan conversation -
- buddy, I`ll give you the whole program. Congressman, those things I just
mentioned are just -- just I think, I`m guessing, just a few things that
maybe your constituents are probably concerned about.

Next up, Dick Cheney says he has no regrets about his time as vice
president. I`ll talk to Mike Papantonio and Lizz Winstead about Cheney`s

And later, even after an earthquake rocked his home state of Virginia
and the East Coast prepares for hurricane Irene, Eric Cantor says disaster
aid should be offset by spending cuts.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is singing like a canary about his
time in office. He`s written a tell-all book in which he expresses no


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In you`re view, we should still be using
enhanced interrogation?



CHENEY: No regrets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should we still be waterboarding terror

CHENEY: I would strongly support using it again if circumstances
arose where we had a high value detainee, and that was the only way we
could get him to talk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even though so many people have condemned it,
people call it torture, you think it should still be a tool?



SCHULTZ: In the book, Cheney is highly critical of many former Bush
administration officials, including Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and
George Tenet. But Cheney knew that he was an objective controversy and he
offered his resignation several times prior to Bush`s re-election. But he
writes that after a few day`s consideration, Bush said that he wanted him
to stay.

In June of 2007, if Cheney`s view had prevailed, the United States
would have bombed a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria. The president
asked, "Does anyone here agree with the vice president?" Not a single hand
went up around the room.

Let`s bring in the host of "The Ring of Fire" radio show, Mike
Papantonio, and "The Daily Show" co-creator Lizz Winstead, with us as well.

Mike, with you first. What strikes you about what`s coming out of
the Cheney book, the tell-all? What do you take from it?

MIKE PAPANTONIO, HOST, "RING OF FIRE": What strikes me, Ed is
sometimes a shady character like Dick Cheney, he can clear his conscience
by writing this confessional opus but he can`t clear his name. He`s never
going to be able to clear this idea that 18 percent -- he`s got a meager 18
percent approval rating in the United States.

But here`s what I`d like to see. Most of us would like to see an
apology book, an apology that tells the wives and the husbands and the
children and the brothers and the sisters who were killed in Iraq because
of his lie. I`d like to see an apology for that. That`s what most of us
are waiting for is an apology.

I bet Valerie Plame and I bet Joe Wilson are waiting for an apology
where he tells this story, and he finally admits that he engaged in
pathetic conduct that exposed Valerie Plame, the CIA agent, and put her
context at risk -- their lives at risk.


PAPANTONIO: Or maybe an apology to Scooter Libby who he hung up to
dry for doing all of that.

We`re awaiting for an apology. I doubt it`s ever going to come from
this cynical old man.

SCHULTZ: And, Lizz Winstead, it just seems to me that this is
vintage Dick Cheney. He has no regrets. He wouldn`t turn anything around
even on torture.

What do you make of that?

talks about clearing his name, he couldn`t clear Customs. He would be
arrested immediately by many international courts.

But, you know, look at this guy. Honestly, I think peace might be
his kryptonite. He`s never met a war he doesn`t want to get into. He`s
never met a person who he doesn`t want to, you know, make angry and, you
know, to continue saying, yes, waterboarding is fine, we should keep
continue waterboarding suspects.

I mean, I don`t -- sometimes I just think that Dick Cheney wrote this
book because there was still a couple of people that weren`t sure that
they`re still on the fence about hating Dick Cheney and he just wanted to
make sure that he got everybody on board and I think he did that. Mission

SCHULTZ: Mike, what about President Bush? President Bush could have
accepted Dick Cheney`s resignation. He decided to keep him on even though
there were a number of people in the administration that didn`t agree with

What does it say about Bush that he kept Cheney around? Who was
running the White House?

SCHULTZ: Well, he felt like he needed Dick Cheney. He felt like
without Dick Cheney, he wouldn`t be able -- he wouldn`t have cover for a
lot of the decisions that George Bush was making. Understand, George Bush
comes out of there -- out of this with Dick Cheney really taking most of
the heat for a lot of decisions that George Bush made. It was comfortable
to have Dick Cheney around, and it make good sense to keep him there
because he was kind of the lightning rod for all of the bad decisions that
all of the Republican administration made during those years.

So I guess in a sense it was pretty clever. I think the problem Dick
Cheney -- excuse me, Lizz, go ahead.

WINSTEAD: No, go ahead, Mike.

PAPANTONIO: Well, what I wanted to say, I think what the truth here
is the legacy that Dick Cheney`s family has to live with. Can you imagine
being the children, the grandchildren, the family of Dick Cheney, and you
have to live with that legacy? You have to live with the legacy of lies
that actually ended up in the death of thousands of human beings for no
good reason?


PAPANTONIO: You have to end up with lies that will never be answered
where he will never apologize?

I promise you. This man will never apologize.


WINSTEAD: And having Dick Cheney as your security blanket is like
one of the most frightening things that I`ve ever heard because you`re
exactly right, Mike, that`s exactly right, he need him. And yet he was his

When Dick Cheney`s your comfort -- I mean, this is a guy in part of
the NBC interview that you didn`t air, Ed, when he`s asked about the book,
he says, "Yes, a lot of heads are going to blow up all over Washington,
D.C.," and I`m your friend in the face. You really want to take it to the
next level that way? It`s amazing.


SCHULTZ: What I think in this era of Tea Party politics and all of
the radical stuff that`s being said out there -- Lizz, I think this is
somewhat of a message from Cheney to this crowd, you know, stick to your
guns, don`t back down, and no matter how bad it gets, don`t retreat.

I mean, from the excerpts of the book and from the interview, I think
this is basically his message. What do you think?

WINSTEAD: Well, I mean, I think that you might be right. I think
it`s always been his message. I mean, if Dick Cheney could, he would emit
a time machine so he could go back in time and then be responsible for
every war that has happened since the planet started existing.

I mean, so, yes, I think that`s right, don`t back down and just
invade. I mean, he wanted to go blow up Syria, seriously, dude? Wow, take
a break.

SCHULTZ: Is there -- Mike, is there any doubt who the most powerful
man was during those years?

PAPANTONIO: No, there`s no question at all. And as a matter of
fact, you have -- that kind of power left a horrible stained political life
for Dick Cheney. It`s a horribly stained political life.

And you know what? One thing for sure legacies are permanent and no
matter how good his ghost writer is, he can`t turn that around. And the
sad thing is for the people who have to live with that, the legacy that he
lives for his entire family forever.


PAPANTONIO: History cannot change the damage that Dick Cheney did to
this country.

WINSTEAD: And when you`re a man with no policy (INAUDIBLE) your own
ghost writer -- I just want to point that out.

SCHULTZ: There you are.

Mike Papantonio, Lizz Winstead, great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.

WINSTEAD: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Rick Perry might be the worst political prognosticator in
the history of America. I`ll show you what he had to say about his buddy
Scott Walker in the Wisconsin 14, next. Stay with us.

And Republicans continue their assault on programs like Social
Security. Tea Party Senator Marco Rubio of Florida says entitlements make
us weak? Rubio, he`s going in "The Zone."


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. More insight on Rick Perry.
He`s good buddies with fellow anti-union governor from Wisconsin Scott
Walker. Check this out, back in February Perry cut a Youtube video
supporting Walker`s radical agenda and attack of working men and women in

Take a look at how bad a political prognosticator Rick Perry is.


senators who instead of respecting the democratic process, they run off and
somehow or another think that`s going to be a productive. I don`t think it
is. I think that people -- they look at this like the -- you know, the kid
who takes his ball and goes home.

I can`t win. I can`t play. Then, you know, nobody else is going to.
That is immature. It`s juvenile. And at the end of the day, I`ll bet you
the folks of Wisconsin, they punish those senators rather than heralding
them as heroes.


SCHULTZ: Really? Perry cropped out on that bet big time, didn`t he?
Not a single member of the Wisconsin 14 team was recalled this summer.
They`re still employed by the people. And the only senators punished were
two Republicans who voted for Scott Walker`s radical agenda.

If Perry paid attention to anything but Fox News, he would know the
Wisconsin 14 were heralded as heroes. Take a look at how Wisconsin voters
reacted to the 14 on THE ED SHOW earlier this month.


SCHULTZ: These are the Americans that made it happen. These folks
will go down in the history books. These 14 Americans.


SCHULTZ: Governor Perry, I invite you to join me in Madison or any
other city in Wisconsin and learn a little bit about the Badger State. So
Wisconsin voters, if you can look them in the eye and tell them that you
would be Scott Walker`s best friend in the White House, what kind of
reaction do you think you`d get?

I think the folks at the Dairy State understand that you are all hat
and no cattle.

Hurricane Irene is threatening much of the Atlantic Coast. There are
extraordinary preparations under way from North Carolina to New York City.
That`s next.

And if you`re among the tens of millions of folks potentially affected
by the storm, the House majority leader, well, he has a plan. No disaster
relief unless there are spending cuts. The remarkable hypocrisy of Eric
Cantor coming up.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and thanks for watching tonight.
The storm is coming. The east coast is getting ready for Hurricane Irene.
The hurricane packed 115-mile-per-hour winds as it slammed the Bahamas last
night and today.

And it offers a preview of what may be in store for much of the
Atlantic Coast. The hurricane is a category three storm with tropical
winds -- force winds extending 225 miles. Hurricane watches have been
issued from North Carolina to New Jersey, and evacuations are already under

The first warnings were issued today for the entire North Carolina
coast. Today, the governor of Maryland declared a state of emergency, and
President Obama signed an emergency declaration for the state of North
Carolina. For the latest, let`s turn now to the Weather Channel
meteorologist Paul Goodloe.

Paul, good to have you with us tonight. What is the latest? What can
you tell us?

PAUL GOODLOE, THE WEATHER CHANNEL: We can tell you that right now,
again, Hurricane0j Irene is holding steady as a category 3 hurricane. As
you mentioned, 115-mile-per-hour winds. The pressure is at 946.
Typically, the pressure and the wind speed are an inverse relationship, or
a seesaw event. The pressure goes down, the wind speed goes up. And the
pressure has been slowly going down over the last 24 hours or so. The wind
speed has not gone up that much.

But it`s now -- as it moves away from the Bahamas, it has a chance of
actually strengthening somewhat, perhaps 120, maybe 125, before it slowly
weakens before it approaches the rest of the U.S.

And here`s another outlook of where this hurricane is. In fact, the
center is about 170 miles or so off of the Florida coast. The good news
is, Florida will not have a direct impact. But we`ve been getting strafed
by the outer rain bands of Hurricane Irene all day long. Quite a bit of
rain coming. We`re still seeing the thunderstorms and the outer rain bands
coming toward Vero Beach/the Melbourne area, the Space Coast as well.

But again, that`s from Florida. No direct hits. But definitely
strong surf and heavy waves across the Florida coastline. Georgia
coastline as well. But Cape Hatteras, the eye is about 500 miles south-
southwest of there right now. And that could be the potential bull`s eye
of a landfall. But after that, we open up the entire mid-Atlantic, the
entire northeast, evening New England for impacts with this hurricane.

Right now, a major category three hurricane. So we want to know,
where is this thing going? Here`s our computer models. And as we head
throughout the night and into your Saturday, we start pushing this on
towards perhaps landfall somewhere in North Carolina. As you mentioned,
tropical storm force winds extend over 200 miles. So almost to Charlotte
we could be dealing with tropical-force winds.

After that, we start pushing it right up the New England coastline
into New England and the northeast. And remember, the strongest side of a
hurricane is the east side. So that`s where the wind`s coming in, and the
waves coming in as well. So really concerned about Long Island and all the
sounds here, onto the Chesapeake/Delaware bay as well.

And take a look at this, our official track has it making landfall
sometime on Saturday, perhaps Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening. And
then it could perhaps make another landfall, Jersey shore, maybe even into
Long Island as we head into some time on Sunday, maybe weakening as a
category one.

There`s also models saying there`s going to be strong upper level
winds, which could keep this hurricane even stronger than a category one or
maybe a strong category one.

But also right now, the big concern is what`s happening in the ocean
here. Again, the east side, the strongest one, already recording 41-plus-
foot waves here off the coast of Florida.


GOODLOE: All of that could be heading on towards the Carolina
coastline, mid-Atlantic, even the northeast as we head into this coming
weekend. Ed, Irene means big-time devastation potentially across the east
coast of the U.S.

SCHULTZ: Paul, what are the chances of it developing into a category
four? What are the percentages? Can you tell us that?

GOODLOE: Well, I guess there`s good news and bad news about that, is
the track forecast right now are pretty accurate. We`re talking easily 70
percent or higher than that. The intensity forecast not that accurate.
But everything we know about the atmosphere and the models we`re running
right now, we pretty much think that chance is getting slimmer. It`s not
zero, but definitely slimmer than it was, say, a couple of days ago.

But the bottom line is even if it does or doesn`t -- if it stays a
three, there are still major impacts right now. It`s like taking your foot
off of the gas. You`re not hitting the brakes. It`s just coasting as it
comes into landfall. So major impacts are expected with Irene.

SCHULTZ: No doubt. Meteorologist Paul Goodloe, thanks for joining us

Now let`s go to New York City and bring in Weather Channel
meteorologist Jim Cantore. Jim, great to have you on with us tonight.
Mayor Bloomberg and emergency services are taking this storm very
seriously. What can you tell us?

JIM CANTORE, THE WEATHER CHANNEL: Yeah the conference this afternoon,
of course very enlightening. The mayor, as he always, invoking a little
confidence in all of us, saying, look, we`re going to get through this
together. We`re going to go through something awful here and we`re going
to get through it together.

But what they`re planning on, obviously, is taking a strong look at
Saturday morning and saying, look, as of 8:00 a.m., you will know if you
live in zone A, which includes here where I am at, Battery Park, if you`re
going to need to leave or not.

Because back in 1960, there was a hurricane named Donna that put water
up 11 feet, which is well over my head and would obviously cause a
tremendous amount of flooding right in through here. So they don`t want
people in the flood zone. And I think they`re going to have -- you know,
the weather right now and the track of this thing is going to force your

You saw that wave action that Paul showed you there. All of those
waves are going to be brought off of the eastern seaboard. There`s just no
getting around it. They`re not going to be 40 feet at the coastline. But
when you think about the fact we`re going to have a high tide as well,
we`re going to have issues in through here.

Again, Saturday 8:00 a.m., zone A -- we`re talking about Coney Island,
the Far Rockaways, Battery Park, Staten Island, through the Governor`s
Island. Five hospitals and nursing homes hope to have their evacuations of
people done by 8:00 tomorrow night.

And of course, if people are in low-lying areas, there are about five
hospitals that are in those areas, they`re going to need get those people
inland in a hurry here.

This is just a mind-boggling situation, Ed. It`s one that we haven`t
seen in decades and all of us really haven`t experienced. Because it`s not
only just the coastal affects. It`s a multi-hazard. You`ve got the waves.
You`ve got the inland flooding with the rainfall.

It`s so saturated from Philadelphia right up through Vermont with the
kind of rain, six to 12 to 15 inches that we`re expecting in through here.
We`re going to have massive amounts of flooding, and loss of property and
potential loss of life even well inland from this hurricane.

And the west side of it, it`ll still have wind. Winds potentially 65,
80 miles per hour. They`re going to knock down a ton of trees because of
these pre-existing wet soils. So it just boggles the mind that we will not
only shutdown major cities in the northeast, but we will also cause
extensive damage.

This really has all of the makings of being our tenth billion-dollar
disaster at that. And it may -- this may be a stretch here. This may be
something that rivals the dollars of Katrina, if this current track and
intensity holds.

SCHULTZ: Weather Channel`s Jim Cantore, you have our attention
tonight. Thanks so much for joining us here on THE ED SHOW. It looks like
it`s going to be a barn burner, no doubt.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio got some good press this week for saving
Nancy Reagan from a fall at a Reagan library event. But when it comes to
the rest of the American senior citizens, Rubio wants to leave them high
and dry. He`s coming up in Psycho Talk. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, Florida Senator Marco Rubio,
he`s on the attack against the big three. Now Rubio is an early favorite
to take the number two spot on the Republican presidential ticket next year
thanks to his Tea Party ideology and his pretty boy looks. But his
policies are downright ugly.

During a speech at the Reagan Library this week, Rubio had this to say
about programs like Social Security and Medicare.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: These programs actually weakened us as
a people. You see, almost forever it was institutions and society that
assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in
your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took
care of them.

You save for your retirement and your future because you had to. But
all of that changed when the government began to assume those
responsibilities. And as government crowded out the institutions in our
society that did these things traditionally, it weakened our people.


SCHULTZ: I will tell you what`s weakening our people, political hacks
like Marco Rubio, who want to get rid of social safety nets. Before
Medicare -- check this out -- half of American seniors didn`t have hospital
insurance. Almost a third of Americans lived in poverty.

But after Medicare was signed into law, the poverty rate among senior
citizens plummeted from 30 percent to around 10 percent in just 30 years.
And it`s the same story with Social Security.

According to the Census Bureau data, 20 million more Americans would
live below the poverty line if Social Security did not exist. Forty five
percent of senior citizens would be pour.

And in Rubio`s state of Florida alone, Social Security lifts more than
-- count it -- a million people out of poverty. But these right wingers
remain determined to dismantle the big three, no matter how many Americans

For Marco Rubio to say programs like Medicare and Social Security
weaken Americans is flat out Psycho Talk.

A secret stash of porn and "Playboys." See what else was found inside
Moammar Gadhafi`s compound. That`s next.



Gadhafi`s on-suite bathrooms, Jacuzzi tub. Obviously, all the lights are
out. In here is the bedroom. The ceiling has come down but under this
debris was Gadhafi`s bed.


SCHULTZ: That was NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel
inside the Gadhafi family compound in Libya. Rebel fighters ransacked the
home this week, offering the world a peek into Moammar Gadhafi`s bizarro
life, a world filled with underground bunkers, giant teddy bears, golden
furniture, a DVD with gay porn entitled "Boys Tracks," and to top it off, a
photo album of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Gadhafi collected pages and pages of pictures of Condi Rice. The
fugitive dictator has been a Condi groupie for quite some time. In 2007,
he told al Jazeera, "I admire and I am very proud of the way she leans back
and gives orders to Arab leaders. Leezza, Leezza, Leezza, I love her very

When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Tripoli on a
diplomatic visit back in 2008, Gadhafi showered her with gifts, including a
diamond ring, a lute and locket, with an engraved likeness of himself.
Unfortunately for Ms. Rice, U.S. officials cannot keep gifts from foreign

The State Department is calling the photo album tonight bizareeAnd
creepy. While Condoleezza Rice herself has had no comment. Maybe next
time, Moammar.

Next, as Hurricane Irene heads for the East Coast House Majority
Leader Eric Cantor says disaster relief must be offset by spending cuts.
Did he feel the same way about the Bush tax cuts? Michael Eric Dyson will
join me on that conversation. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Finally tonight, you know, it doesn`t matter if Hurricane
Irene is ready to hit and pound his district, or other districts, for that
matter. If House Majority Leader Eric Cantor gets his way, there will be
no federal disaster relief to help in the Irene aftermath. Not unless
there are spending cuts.

As "Talking Point Memo" reports, "Cantor will extend his requirement
that federal disaster relief be paid for cutting spending elsewhere."
Cantor spokesman added, "we aren`t going to speculate on damage before it
happens, period. But as you know, Eric has consistently said that
additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset with
spending cuts."

Really? That seems to be at odds with Cantor`s previous fiscal
positions in his political career. He`s given his seal of approval to some
our country`s biggest debt drivers. Take, for instance Cantor voted for
the Bush tax cuts without spending cuts. He voted for the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan without spending cuts.

He voted for the Bush`s unprecedented expansion of Medicare without
spending cuts. So why the twist? Well, you`ve got to make it tough on the
American people and Barack Obama.

The majority leader has proven, time and time again, that he is all
about helping party not people.

Joining me tonight is Michael Eric Dyson, political analyst, professor
at Georgetown University, and author of the book, "Can You Hear Me Now?"
Good to have you with us tonight, Michael.


SCHULTZ: We had a report earlier tonight from two Weather Channel
meteorologists painting a very grim picture of what people along the east
coast in this country -- there`s going to be millions of people who are
going to be affected by this. And we have a political leader in Washington
saying, hey, wait a minute, we`re not sure if we`re going to be help to
help you. What do you make of that.

DYSON: That`s just the crass refusal to do the business of the
people. You`re a politician, put in office to address the critical needs
of people. Politics, after all, is not simply about the art of the
possible. It`s about directing critical resources to vulnerable
populations in a time of crisis.

And you are talking about playing political football here and playing
politics with the resources of the people. If they need it, then fund
them. If they are disaster stricken, then they must be relieved.

Ed, this is a rejection and repudiation of basic decency, much less
good politics.

SCHULTZ: Is this the beginning of a lousy response to this hurricane?
I mean, we`ve been down this road before with Hurricane Katrina. And here
are the Republicans, it`s almost as if they didn`t learn a damn thing about
how to do and serve the people when something like this hits.

DYSON: Not at all. You don`t play politics. You don`t wait for five
days to get down to New Orleans. You don`t wait and say we`re going to tie
spending cuts to the delivery of resources for those who`ve been struck by

I`m in Washington, D.C., I can tell you, it`s not a pretty picture.
The rains are coming. The winds are howling. And if this thing hits
anywhere here in the capacity that they`re projecting, Ed, it`s going to be
a tremendous disaster, a once in a century kind of thing.

We need our government to step up. We need our politicians to not
play politics with the delivery of resources. And Eric Cantor ought to be
ashamed of himself.

SCHULTZ: What should the House majority leader be saying to the
American people about this? What should he be saying?

DYSON: He should be saying, we are here, we are with you. Do what
LBJ did in a time of crisis. He showed up with a bullhorn and he barked
out his compassion and his identification with the vulnerable of this
nation. Eric Cantor should be saying, we will do everything we can to
leverage the resources that you, the people, have invested in us by paying
your taxes. And now we will return to those service to you without playing

That`s what a great leader, that`s where a visionary leader, that`s
what a responsible leader would do.

SCHULTZ: Even in the time of potential absolute disaster, the
crassness of this people just absolutely is abound. Great to have you with
us tonight, Michael, thank you so much. MSNBC political analyst Michael
Eric Dyson.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you, do you trust Rick Perry to run the
government? Four percent of you said, yes; 96 percent of you said, no.
And that was based on all of the information you`ve been given so far on
Rick Perry.

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE LAST WORD" with Lawrence
O`Donnell starts right now. Prepare for the hurricane. Do the right
thing. We`ll be back with you next Monday.


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