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The Ed Show for Friday, February 24, 2012

Read the transcript to the Friday show

Guests: Barry Lynn, Lizz Winstead, Terry O`Neill, Stacie Steward, Thomas
Frank, Tony Trupiano, Rev. Jesse Jackson

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

Rick Santorum, he has this wild conspiracy theory about President
Obama and your child`s education.

And one Virginia Republican lawmaker makes a sexist joke about state-
sponsored rape. You will see the tape exclusively in the entirety right

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


kids who go to college with the faith commitment leave without it.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Rick Santorum cites a bogus study and makes a
stunning charge against President Obama.

SANTORUM: I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to
college --

GLENN BECK: Oh, yes.

SANTORUM: -- because they are indoctrination mills.

SCHULTZ: Franklin Graham is back warning Christians that voting for
Obama is compromising their faith. The Reverend Barry Lynn is here with

In the best example yet that men don`t understand women`s health, the
war on women in Virginia takes an ugly turn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trans v brrb. Trans-v this and trans-v that. And
they hate women.

SCHULTZ: Women`s activist Lizz Winstead and NOW`s Terry O`Neill are
here to respond.

Chevy pick up and drives a couple of Cadillacs actually.

SCHULTZ: After going to the Romney family fleet, Mitt Romney blunders
through his economic speech to an empty Ford Field.

ROMNEY: I guess we have a hard time finding a large enough place to

SCHULTZ: Outrage in Chicago continues over school closings. And Rahm
Emanuel is dismissing protest as noise. The Reverend Jesse Jackson is here
to respond.


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

The attacks keep coming on President Obama from the right wing culture
warriors led by Rick Santorum. Last week, the former senator of
Pennsylvania accused the president of the United States of having a phony

Last night, he took it to a new level in an interview with psycho
talker Glenn Beck. Santorum combined his attacks on public education with
his attacks on the president`s faith. He lumped them together in one big
giant sound bite of crazy.


SANTORUM: Sixty-two percent of the kids who go in college with the
faith commitment leave without it.


SANTORUM: I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to
college --

BECK: Oh, yes.

SANTORUM: -- because they are indoctrination mills.

BECK: Indoctrination mills. Oh, yes.

SANTORUM: Absolutely. And I floated the idea and am trying to figure
out how we can make it work of somehow or another requiring colleges and
universities who receive public dollars to have intellectual diversity.

The indoctrination at university level --

BECKEL: They are hiding behind tenure.


SCHULTZ: Santorum things university educated students are a harm to
our economy and a harm to our country. This may be the most radical
conspiracy theory we have ever seen from a leading presidential candidate.

Rick Santorum is staying that the president wants your kid to go to
school and lose his or her faith, lose their connection with God. And he`s
basing his indoctrination argument on a bogus survey. He says 62 percent
of college students lose their religion?

He is quoting a survey from the Cardinal Newman Society, the Catholic
group that led the failed effort to stop President Obama from speaking at
Notre Dame University in 2009. Of course, Brent Bozell, the expert on
bogus analysis is on the board of directors of that society.

Rick Santorum relies on false information to push his Obama bashing
anti-university conspiracy theory. It isn`t the first time he`s mentioned
it. He went on the attack as soon as President Obama said this in the
State of the Union address.


be a luxury, it is an economic imperative that every family in America
should be able to afford.


SCHULTZ: The day after the State of the Union, Santorum gave his
interpretation what the president meant when he said all Americans should
be able to afford college.


SANTORUM: No wonder President Obama wants everyone to go to college.
The indoctrination that occurs in American universities is one of the keys
to the left holding and maintaining power in America.

I bet you there are people in this room who give money to colleges and
universities who are undermining the very principles of our country every
single day by indoctrinating kids in left wing ideology. And you continue
to give to these colleges and universities. Let me have a suggestion: stop


SCHULTZ: I had no idea Morehead State screwed me up so bad. But,
whatever, Santorum`s level of absurdity puts Michele Bachmann to shame,
don`t you think?

President Obama is out there talking about shared sacrifice, everybody
gets a fair shot in America, where is that country? He`s advocating for
equal rights, civil rights, workers` rights, women`s rights, and he`s
trying to revive the middle class in America.

And important part of reviving the middle class is access to quality
education, everybody gets a fair shot.

But Rick Santorum thinks the president wants your kids to go to
college because they will be indoctrinated against faith. He commanded his
supporters to stop donating to universities. Earlier this month, Santorum
argued that he should be the Republican nominee because he represents the
best contrast with President Obama.

For once, I mean, I really agree with him. Please, Michigan, please
vote for this guy. I want Santorum to win because I want to see the debate
between the president of the United States who thinks everyone should get a
fair shot and Rick Santorum who is against your kid getting a college
education. Folks, that ought to be a dandy.

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

Tonight`s question, do you think President Obama is trying to
indoctrinate your college-age children? Text A for yes, text B for no, to
622639. And you can always go to our blog at We`ll bring
you the results later on in the show.

We`re joined tonight by Reverend Barry Lynn, the executive director of
Americans United.

Reverend, good to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: Maybe I`m interpreting this wrong, I don`t think I am, but
Rick Santorum is condemning our university system across this country,
saying that they are the epitome of moral rot and we have to do something
about it.

How out of the mainstream is this?

LYNN: That`s about as out of the mainstream as you can get and still
be out of the water at all. This statement by Rick Santorum is based on
all kinds of false information. First of all, even in the polls that say
there are kids and there are certainly always have been kids that go to
college and then it`s not that they lose their faith, it`s just that they
don`t become as engaged in church-related activities as they might have
been when their mom and dad were forcing them to do those activities.

One thing we know from the Barner Group, which is the most respected
evangelical polling group is that when young people go to colleges, they
learn about science and they tend, therefore, in many cases no longer to
take the Bible literally. They learn science, they were not taught science
in home schooling which, of course, Rick Santorum did for his own kids.

The other thing is they learned to live with other people, including
gay and lesbian students, then they don`t hate them anymore.

University education is about debate, dialogue, discussion, it is not
this fantasy world where somebody is trying to indoctrinate your children.
That is completely false.

And as far as the undermining faith connecting it to higher education,
you get to a point you have to say -- Rick Santorum apparently doesn`t want
kids to think at all because maybe that will make them more docile and they
won`t be able to tell truth from the falsity.

SCHULTZ: I mean, he is saying that the president of the United States
wants people to be indoctrinated and wants to take people away from their
faith. I find that absolutely outrageous. It borders insanity. Does
Santorum`s type of rhetoric work with any certain religious group in this
country or any time of believer out there?

LYNN: Well, there are people who hate universities. They hate
critical thinking. That is the idea you balance certain issues against one
another, you make thoughtful decisions, because they are afraid that if you
start to think critically, you might not believe everything you hear like
from the very right wing politicians that they hope you vote for.

And I`ll tell you, I was at the National Religious Broadcasters
Convention earlier in the week when I joined from you Nashville, and I`ll
tell you, there are a lot of people there sitting in those seats when I was
having a debate about hate speech on campuses, who didn`t seem worried
about hate speech at all, but they are worrying about all those fringe
issue, about Barack Obama taking away their religious freedom.

Barack Obama has not taken away anybody`s religious freedom. That may
be more their methodology, it is certainly not the truth.

But there is an audience that`s very receptive. The religious right
never died. It`s still about 21 percent of the American electorate. And
when the pundits said, oh, after Barack Obama was elected, I guess we got
rid of those people. No.

I`m glad there were a lot of folks around the country still fighting
this ideology because it is an ideology that is nonsensical but it would
lead, if they would implement it, to very, very dumb, unprepared students.
And that`s the last thing we need.

SCHULTZ: All right. Rick Santorum is not the only one out there that
is attacking President Obama on religion.

Franklin Graham, he`s out there again. He`s back out questioning
President Obama`s faith. Here he is on radio today.


FRANKLIN GRAHAM, EVANGELIST: I`m asked, you know, if the president is
a Christian. I don`t know, I mean he says he is so I guess he is and
that`s what he says. But at the same time, Tony, there are the policies of
the president and the administration that go against God`s teaching and, of
course, that`s abortion.

The Bible is very clear on this, and I cannot support the president or
vote for him because of his support for abortion and same sex marriage.
For a candidate to actually oppose God`s standard and then to vote for that
person, you are compromising, you are joining in with them.


SCHULTZ: Reverend, is he telling Christians they are compromising
their values if they vote for President Obama? What are your thoughts on

LYNN: Well, I think he`s actually taken it one step further. He`s
saying, look, if you see sin and you in any way cooperate, this is another
long-standing decades-long argument -- if you vote for a candidate who
doesn`t see the world as a religious matter exactly as you do, you are in
fact violating God`s law.

I got to make this clear, Ed, the trifecta of untruths there. Number
one, the Bible doesn`t mention abortion for example. That`s what that
comment was really about. Second, the Book of Exodus says if you cause the
loss of a fetus, it`s not murder. And third, even if those things were
true, we have a Constitution in the United States of America, it is not
based on Christian thought, it is not based on Islamic thought, it is based
on commonly shared values that all Americans ought to accept.

So it`s more bogus stuff. Franklin Graham, piling on with Rick
Santorum, piling on with Newt Gingrich, who, of course, doesn`t like the
court system, thinks there is a war on religion as does Mitt Romney. It`s
all facile nonsense.

SCHULTZ: I mean, you put all these stories together, Reverend. You
have this story, the attack on the president`s faith, the indoctrination
when it comes to the talk of education, not funding education, the attack
on women`s health care, the attack on workers, the separation of income in
America -- I mean, it`s amazing what is unfolding in the country right now.
There has never been a more important election in this country.

LYNN: Well, that`s true.

SCHULTZ: Reverend, great to have you with us tonight. I always
appreciate you coming on the program. Thanks so much.

LYNN: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of
the screen and share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow. We want to know
what you think.

Next, there is one Republican lawmaker in Virginia that mocks the very
legislation his party tried to ram through. We`ve got the video that you
just simply will not want to miss and we`re going to play it in its
entirety. Lizz Winstead and Terry O`Neill will weigh in.

Republicans in the heartland, they want the poorest to pay more money
while the rich get the big tax cuts. Frank Thomas will tell us what`s the
matter with Kansas.


SCHULTZ: Coming up, the Republican war on women`s health, believe it
or not, gets cranked up a notch. The shocking locker room talk of Virginia
Republicans will be exposed for the first time, next.

Mitt Romney kicked off the next phase of his campaign in a nearly
empty football stadium, I`ll show you Romney missing wide right.

And the attack on poor schools in Chicago, I find absolutely
appalling, and America is talking about it. Jesse Jackson is here. He
says it`s educational apartheid.

Share your thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re right back.



GOV. BOB MCDONNELL (R), VIRGINIA: We realize there was different
kinds of ultrasounds. And so, what I recommended to the general assembly
and they adopted the other day is let`s make the requirement for the
abdominal ultrasound.


SCHULTZ: That was Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell still trying to dig
his way out of a political mess over women`s health care. McDonnell
originally supported a bill that would require women seeking abortion to
undergo a highly invasive transvaginal ultrasound. No exceptions, even in
the case of rape and incest.

After public and political pressure, the governor caved and asked
lawmakers to remove the requirement from the bill. Republican Delegate
Dave Albo wrote the bill`s compromise. Albo`s compromise requires a less
invasive but still mandatory external ultrasound to be performed.

This has been a very divisive and extremely personal battle on women`s
health care across this country. And in the midst, in the very midst of
this highly charged and emotional debate, Albo, Mr. Compromise, took to the
floor of the Virginia legislature and turned the idea of state-sponsored
rape in a punchline.


REP. DEL. DAVE ALBO (R), VIRGINIA: Speaker, members of the House, the
gentleman from Alexandria apologized, but he owes an apology to me.
Because let me tell you what happened. On Tuesday, after our contentious
session, I went home, wanted to go see my kid and my wife.

So I drove back home, I got home in time to see my boy, read him a
story, put him to bed, and went down stairs to relax in the living room.
In my house, I have big, giant screen TV like 46 inch or something. It`s
probably as big as that. So, I say you know what, I`m really rich, yes.

So I thought wow, the boy is in bed, wife here, TV. Red wine. And
can you do some theme music for me here?


ALBO: Got Rita some red wine, sat next to her, used my patented cool
move. I invented this, I went, ohhhh, I`m so tired. I then turn on the TV
to find the Redskins channel. My wife loves the Redskins more than she
loves me.

So, I`m going to the TV, got my theme music going, my red wine,
looking to watch the Redskins and start flipping through the channels.

And through the channels you have to get through the news stuff, all
of a sudden, on my big screen TV comes this big thing and a picture of a
bill that has Albo on it. I went, wow, holy smokes, my name as big as a

And the very next scene was the gentleman from Alexandria`s face as
big as my wall going, trans v brr, trans-v this and trans-v that, and they
hate women. And we`re going to -- she killed the bill because she wouldn`t
go far enough, and, she`s crazy. And it just goes on and on and on.

And I`m like, this is my wife, ands the show is over and she goes "I
got to go to bed."


ALBO: So if the gentleman`s plan was to make sure there was one less
Republican in this world, he did it.

So, I expect an apology from you later, in person on the House floor.


SCHULTZ: Well, it`s the good old boys club, isn`t it?

In Virginia, women`s health care has been reduced to a joke. The
callous attitude displayed by that lawmaker underscores the fight women
have politically in this country in 2012.

Let`s bring in the president of the National Organization for Women,
Terry O`Neill, and also the co-creator of "The Daily Show," Lizz Winstead,
author of "Lizz Free or Die."

Lizz, I`ll ask you first. Your reaction to that?

LIZZ WINSTEAD, "THE DAILY SHOW" CO-CREATOR: Well, the boy`s club tone
was completely shocking. The man couldn`t even say trans-vaginal. I mean,
this is literally this invasive procedure that even McDonnell said would
probably violate the Fourth Amendment, search and seizure. He can`t say

They look like men-boys. They do. They do like children who have no
idea the ramifications of what they are legislating or even what -- any of

SCHULTZ: But what about the callous attitude, the free willing
callous attitude like it`s really no big deal for women?

WINSTEAD: Yes. And that`s what it feels like. It`s a joke, the
trans-this and on the big TV, now my wife won`t have sex with me because --
it was just like -- are you kidding me? This is what goes on in the
Virginia legislature?

SCHULTZ: Terry O`Neill, what does this signal to women across the
country about the attitude some lawmakers have?

TERRY O`NEILL, PRESIDENT, N.O.W.: We have a lot of work to do. The
delegate should understand, the word is vagina.


O`NEILL: And his state-sponsored rape law required a trans-vaginal
probe and a trans-vaginal ultrasound. And his so-called compromise is
nonetheless a violation of women`s fundamental rights. And, by the way,
the Fourth Amendment?


O`NEILL: Search and seizure?

The law would have sponsored -- would have forced doctors to perform a
rape, a penetration without consent, that`s how the FBI defines rape,
that`s what it would have been.

And the compromise is very important to understand. Here`s Governor
McDonnell saying, well, I don`t think that we should have an invasive
procedure as a requirement before another procedure can be done, but
Governor McDonnell is fully in support of a medically unnecessary, very
costly, non-consensual procedure as a legal requirement to be done before a
woman can have an abortion -- which, by the way, abortion is still legal in
the country and Governor McDonnell was way off base.

SCHULTZ: Terry, how gross was that, what you saw on tape?

O`NEILL: Well, you know, it was really gross. It was -- gee, I don`t
want to say the word vagina, I just want to control women`s reproductive
lives, I want to be able to control what they do with their own
reproductive lives. It`s offensive and it shows that we have an awful lot
of work to do to remove delegates like this gentleman from the Virginia
legislature, certainly to remove Governor McDonnell from the governor`s
house. And all across the country, to remove these extreme right wing
ideologues, who are either playing politics with women health or seriously
think it`s OK to deprive women of health care.

SCHULTZ: Yes. And this week, seven Republican state attorney`s
general filed suit challenging the Obama administration on its birth
control policy, they claim the policy violates the First Amendment, legal
experts say it`s a political stunt.

Lizz, what`s your response to this?

WINSTEAD: Well, I mean, Scalia said it 20 years ago, you know? Not
everything that offends your religious beliefs is necessarily
unconstitutional. You know, this isn`t asking one particular group or
singling out one particular group. It`s saying you just got to comply with
everybody, you know?


WINSTEAD: And so it`s a big -- again, a big waste of taxpayers` money
on the backs of women begging for dignity because they happen to be sexual

SCHULTZ: It`s amazing. And, of course, next week, the Senate is
going to be voting on the Blunt Amendment which, of course, will be put in
of all places the transportation bill, and, of course, the Democrats are
saying, bring it on. This is a political fight that they definitely want.

And right now, women`s reproductive organs in the country are the
biggest political football out there and it`s become a joke on the
legislative floor in the state of Virginia. I find it absolutely amazing.

Terry O`Neill, Lizz Winstead -- thank you for joining us tonight. I
appreciate your help.

Mitt Romney gave a speech in a football stadium today, but the result
was a fumble, not a touchdown.

And later, a surprise announcement from Bill Maher. We got the tape
you don`t want to miss.

You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. We`ll be right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Mitt Romney promised a big speech on the economy today. It turned out
to be a real lemon. The candidate spoke to the Detroit Economic Club from
Ford Field -- real white and a lot of suits. The football stadium seats
about 80,000 people. Only problem? Romney had about 1,000 people in the
crowd, making the event looked like a total flop. Romney`s campaign
couldn`t even fill all the chairs in the audience.

The speech was overshadowed by images like this.

Romney`s campaign, you know, they should have learned a lesson from
the Obama campaign in 2008. I mean, if you want to have campaign speeches
in sports arenas, you better fill the dog gone place up, like the Obama
camp did four years ago this month in Hartford, Connecticut. Also in
Madison, Wisconsin. And also in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Romney tried to make light of the stadium blunder during his speech.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to thank the folks at
the Ford Field for making this space available for us. I guess we had a
hard time finding a large enough place to meet, and this certainly is.


SCHULTZ: They are just overly optimistic. Organizers of the event
say the Secret Service wouldn`t let Romney give the speech at a smaller
location within Ford Field. But Romney only has himself to blame for
putting his foot in his mouth once again.


ROMNEY: I like the fact most of the cars I see are Detroit made
automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pick up truck. Anne drives a
couple Cadillacs, actually.


SCHULTZ: That is kind of his way of supporting the automobile loan?
The guy with at least four family cars really knows how to relate to the
working folk of America, huh? Romney makes a lot of gaffes when he goes
off script.

But the things he says on script caused hundreds of auto workers to
protest the speech outside the stadium today. Romney was still bad
mouthing the Auto Workers Union from the football field.


ROMNEY: In my view, the industry got in trouble because the UAW asked
for too much, management gave too much and made other mistakes, and the
government CAFE standards hurt domestic automakers and provided a benefit
to some of the foreign automakers.


SCHULTZ: How in the heck did that happen on the heels of eight years
of George bush? Let`s bring in an electrician for Chrysler Stirling
Heights Assembly Plant, Stacie Steward. Stacie, good to have you with us

What was -- you bet. What is your reaction to Mitt Romney and the way
he handled and has handled and editorialized the automobile loan?

STACIE STEWARD, ELECTRICIAN: It is very disheartening. It`s almost a
joke at this point now. He`s trying to back pedal and make himself sound
good, and it was all his idea, that Obama did everything that he said.

No, Obama did exactly the opposite of what he said. Now he wants to
get credit for the loans working for us. And no, all the credit goes to
President Obama.

SCHULTZ: Why were you protesting today?

STEWARD: Can you repeat that? I`m sorry.

SCHULTZ: Why were you protesting today? Why did you feel the need to
protest and go out there?

STEWARD: Because I`m taking it personal. I`m taking it very personal
because my job was jeopardized. I was on a long, lengthy, almost year-and-
a-half layoff before the bailouts -- before the bailouts happened. And
after the loans were given to Chrysler and GM, I went back to work like a
week-and-a-half later.

I didn`t know if I had a future coming and I do. And here is someone
from Michigan, a politician, dogged the auto industry, dogged the American
auto industries and the unions. He uses the word union like it`s a four
letter word. I`m offended.

It`s like he`s cursing us out, the taxpayers, the American people. We
pay very good taxes. Why would you not want me to go back to work when I`m
playing large taxes, me and all of my coworkers?

SCHULTZ: Are you offended the way he portrayed the unions today?

STEWARD: I am very offended the way that he portrayed the unions, the
way that he pretty much attacked the unions. I don`t know what GM,
Chrysler, Ford plant that he has been in lately. For him to say that the
unions are running the company, I`m in a plant five and six days a week,
and I can tell you, that is not the way it is.

The unions are there to protect us. We`re not running the company.
We`re not taking money under the table, like he tries to put it and we`re
adding extra costs to the cars. We took away costs from the cars.

SCHULTZ: Stacie Steward, I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks for
joining us here on THE ED SHOW.

The Michigan and Arizona primaries are coming up this Tuesday. Of
course, we`ll have full coverage here on MSNBC.

Let`s turn to WDTW radio host, and my friend Tony Trupiano. Tony,
good to have you with us tonight, buddy. Good to see you again.

TONY TRUPIANO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It`s a pleasure, been too long.

SCHULTZ: It has been. What happened there today? What is the mood
of the people going into Tuesday, towards Romney and Santorum?

TRUPIANO: Well, what happened here today is the American union
worker, the organized labor in whole, certainly led by Bob Kegan (ph) of
the UAW, stood up to corporate malfeasance, stood up to arrogance, Ed.

I got to tell you, it was empowering to be with these folks this
morning. We often talk about our military heroes. One of the things that
I`ve recognized over the last four years is we have another kind of hero in
America today. And that is an industrial hero. People that work for the
auto industry and the related fields, Ed, that have sacrificed -- get this,
get this -- between 7,000 and 30,000 dollars a year in -- under these new
contracts to keep the American manufacturing system growing strong, Ed.

This isn`t just about the auto industry. It`s about manufacturing.
What happened this morning was empowering. It was democracy in a way that
most people don`t get to see.

SCHULTZ: How is President Obama being received in Michigan right now?
This is a very important state for him.

TRUPIANO: And it`s clear that this state loves him. I`m not going to
say he has nothing to worry about. This president takes everything
seriously, everything the way he should. He understands that -- that what
he`s done is not -- everybody`s not just going to accept it wholesale.

The one thing we know that has happened in the last 14 months or so,
as the economy is beginning to rebound, as Michigan is beginning to grow,
this president has visited, even in the last six months, seven or eight
times. He understands the critical nature of what is happening here.

And I don`t want to make this sound just about Michigan and just about
the UAW and just about organized labor. But at some level, what is
happening here is an outgrowth of what needs to happen all over the
country. I think the president recognizes that the success of what`s going
on in Michigan is something that should and will happen all over the

SCHULTZ: Is the Cadillac comment going to be a problem for Mitt
Romney, what he said today?

TRUPIANO: Absolutely. Again, it just shows how arrogant he is. You
had said in your introduction that he fumbled the ball today, the political
football today. Our Detroit Lions, thank God, have been playing better
ball these days. They are not fumbling much.

SCHULTZ: I knew you would get a plug in for the Lions.

TRUPIANO: I had to, Ed. Come on. But I will -- and let`s remind
people that even the Players Association has themselves a strong union. So
the president is doing well here.

Listen, this is a good time to be a progressive radio talk show host,
as you well know, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Tony, great to have you with us. Thanks so much. Tony
Trupiano with us from Detroit.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now you want to take our education away.


SCHULTZ: Teachers and students are under attack in Chicago. Schools
are being shut down, and the mayor is just shrugging it off. The Reverend
Jesse Jackson is here to respond.

In the heart of America, Republicans want to increase taxes on the 99
percent and give the one percent a massive tax break. Thomas Frank is here
to tell you what`s the matter with Kansas.


BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: I would like to tonight announce a donation to
the Obama super PAC.


SCHULTZ: Bill Maher joins the super PAC donors club. He`s writing a
huge check. We`ll have the latest.


SCHULTZ: welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Let`s go to the middle of the
country. In Kansas, more than half a million people make less than 25,000
dollars a year. But Republicans want them to pay more in taxes, and they
want the wealthiest members of that state to get a nice fat tax cut.

You got it, Kansas House Republicans want to pass a plan raising taxes
on the lowest income residents by 72 dollars. People making more than
250,000 would see a tax cut of 1,500 dollars.

Republican Governor Sam Brownback and former senator has his own tax
proposal on the table. It`s even worse. The poorest Kansas residences
would pay 156 dollars more each year, and the people at the top will pay
5,200 dollars less.

Democratic State Senator Anthony Hensley said "I call this Robbin Hood
in reverse. In my 36 years in Kansas politics, I have never seen anything
like this and anything as regressive."

Let`s bring in "Harper`s Magazine" columnist Thomas Frank, author of
"What`s the Matter With Kansas." His latest book is called "Pity the

Mr. Frank, good to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: You wrote your book about the people of Kansas voting
against their own interests eight years ago. And I mean, it was a smashing
hit. It opened a lot of eyes. And a lot of people were saying yeah,
that`s right. Why doesn`t this message get across? Here we go again in
the middle of the country.

FRANK: Isn`t that -- that`s the big question, isn`t it? You should
know I`m not making fun -- the idea of the book wasn`t to make fun of
people from Kansas, I`m from Kansas myself. It`s to talk about the culture
that I grew up in.

And the funny thing is -- it`s not funny at all. Everything there has
gotten worse and worse and worse and worse since I wrote the book. Why
doesn`t the message get through?

Ed, that is -- that is the great question of our time. Maybe if I had
my own TV network, I don`t know.

SCHULTZ: Well, why would any state think it`s OK to raise taxes on
the poorest people and cut them for the riches right now -- the richest?

FRANK: You know, they probably weren`t -- I doubt they were actually
trying to sell it that way. I mean, the whole point of guys like Sam
Brownback and the rest of the sort of Kansas Republican crew is two things.
First of all, the culture wars, OK? Sam Brownback is a man who, when he
was in Washington, D.C., talked on and on and on about how values are much
more important than material issues, and we shouldn`t have these sort of
material worldly ambitions.

He wanted to measure, at one point -- what was it -- gross domestic
piety. He wanted to somehow have an objective measurement of how pious we
were as a nation. That is the kind of politician he was.

When they do something like this -- of course who he actually serve is
Mammon, all of these guys. What they actually -- the parties they actually
serve is the local business community, want to cut those guys` taxes and
lift the burden from them in any way they can. And at the same time, they
also -- if they have a way to somehow stick it to somebody else so they
don`t run the state too deeply in the hole, they are going to do it.

So what they propose is to simultaneously cut taxes on the wealthy in
Kansas, and then take away the earned income tax credit, which is -- is
something that helps out people who earn less.

SCHULTZ: And how much does this have to do with the group called
ALEC. American Legislative Executive Council, which coordinates
legislation to help out the corporate interest? Are they operating in
Kansas as well?

FRANK: Yeah. Well, they were when I wrote "What`s the Matter with
Kansas." They`re very big players there. I mean, among the sort of
Republican members of the legislature there, yes. I don`t know about this
particular effort. But it sure wouldn`t surprise me.

SCHULTZ: But this would take -- if these plans pass, it would take
disposable income away from those who need it the most, when you have a
half a million people in the state that make less than 25,000 dollars a
year. And they want to raise taxes on them.

FRANK: Remember, those are the people who would spend it immediately,
OK? One of the funnier sort of -- I guess in a kind a black humor sense --
funnier parts of this story is at some point about two months ago, they
brought Art Laffer out to Topeka. You know who this is? The Laffer Curve.

This is the guy that came up with the idea that if you cut taxes,
you`ll actually miraculously increase revenue to the government, right? So
you don`t need to worry about deficits. This is what allowed the Reagan
administration and then the Bush, Jr.,administration to run those massive
deficits, by cutting taxes.

Because everybody knew it didn`t matter. The Laffer curve gets you
off the hook. They brought this guy out to Topeka to sort of give his
blessings to this -- to this idea. You cut taxes for the wealthy, and you
heap them up on the poor people.

SCHULTZ: It`s not working in the middle of the country, either.

FRANK: That won`t work anywhere.

SCHULTZ: Thomas Frank, great to have you with us tonight. Thank you.
Congratulations on the book.

Bill Maher shows the president some love and some cash. What`s he up
to? Find out next.



BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: I don`t want to get political. But Rick
Santorum? This is the thing about the Republican party, not to be
partisan. But watching it this entire last year that they have been
running for president, I`ve come away with a revelation: there is no


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. That was comedian Bill Maher
in his new online special "Crazy Stupid Politics."

With Republicans swimming in super PAC money, Maher decided to help
President Obama out and give him a financial boost. Take a look.


MAHER: I would like to tonight announce a donation to the Obama super
PAC, which has the very unfortunate tongue twister name Priority USA
Action. I know it was named by Borat.

But tonight I would like to give that PAC one million dollars.


SCHULTZ: Pretty amazing. Next story, he has called it educational
Apartheid. Jesse Jackson, the reverend, joins me on Chicago`s school
disaster. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked do you think President Obama
is trying to indoctrinate your college-age children? Eleven percent of you
said yes; 89 percent of you said no.

Coming up, the Reverend Jesse Jackson joins me on Chicago`s school
disaster. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Finally tonight in the Big Finish, Chicago schools are
undergoing upheaval. It`s all about money, folks. And it`s a very
dangerous model, in my opinion. And it is going to happen all over the
country, if we don`t watch out.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel declined to join us tonight. But here is
part of his statement. "I understand the real anxieties that come with
change. But I also know that nothing is more disheartening for a child or
destructive it is to his or her future than being stuck in a failing
school. By investing in principals who are accountable and in teachers who
are committed, we have seen our children succeed, doubling average test
scores, gains in our turn-around schools."

Under the plan, six schools will close or be phased out. Ten schools
will go in to so-called turnaround. Let`s bring in the president of the
Rainbow Push Coalition, Reverend Jesse Jackson from Chicago tonight.
Reverend, I`ve spoken with you on this. You`ve called it educational

What is wrong with this and how serious is it?

on the show, so we could at least discuss this matter. There are 150
schools in the city; 160 do not have a library. South of North Avenue,
there`s 140 schools mostly black, brown and poor. That`s the kind of
educational Apartheid.

The neighborhood schools are outperforming the turn-around schools.
You closed down the public schools put extra money for a private, quote
unquote, charter or a turn-around school.

And so there are factors here, Ed, operating like something called
poverty, where in these schools 90 percent of the kids are on a free lunch
program, with 35 percent unemployment among their parents in these schools.

So this kind of quick fix turnaround is a very expensive problem --
it`s just not really working.

SCHULTZ: Well, it seems to be unfair to the teachers. You can`t tell
me that there are 600 teachers in Chicago that are terrible all in one spot
and need to be shut down, and they happen to come from impoverished

JACKSON: Ed, you now have about 25 percent of the African American
teachers -- the law is up to 50 percent -- half of them are targeted to
leave the school system or be fired, which is a kind of cultural
disconnect. They are taking out choirs.

I mean, Jennifer Hudson comes a church choir -- a high school and
choir. Whitney Houston comes out of school and choir. You cut out music.
You cut out art. They`re tightening up on athletics. And you kind of
teach to the test. This is not a healthy program.

SCHULTZ: The mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, quoted Martin Luther
King, saying he was driven by the "fierce urgency of now." What do you
think Martin Luther King would say about Chicago today?

JACKSON: He came to Chicago on the issue of public education, equal
high quality public education for all. So you have -- within the city, you
have the kind of Payton High and you have Whitney Young Highs on one side
of the town. Then you have -- down the street, you have, if you will, a
set of schools that are at a very low investment.

The poorer the schools are, the less investment. So you have a
funding -- investment gap in the schools. And in the suburbs, there is an
investment gap. These kids take the test on the same -- one state, one --
some score higher, some score lower.

Ed, you know there are 17,000 children in this city that are homeless.
You have got to take into account poverty and race. What really works is
smaller classrooms, with better instruction, and food and reading glasses
and dental care. These things really matter.

SCHULTZ: I want to ask you this as well: are you considering a civil
rights lawsuit? What`s going to happen here?

JACKSON: We are going to. Frankly, we would rather engage more with
the mayor than we are at this point. But listen, the only district in the
state that has an appointed school board -- so the board is accountable to
the appointer, not to the people. We want and need elected school boards,
which happens in every other district. It`s the democratic way to engage
parents in the process.

The second piece is because we have these disparities in economic
investment and in race, this is a classic civil right case. We`re going to
appeal to the Department of Justice and the Department of Education to
consider having -- filing a major civil rights case for equal protection in

That is not much to ask. We just want equal protection and one set of

SCHULTZ: Were some of these schools just deliberately starved for
necessary resources to go elsewhere?

JACKSON: The data shows that you have poor performing schools less
likely to get funds. You are kind of inducing them leaving. So you close
the schools down, what pops up next? You then put a private school inside
those walls built for a public school.

So we`re subsidizing the private schools turn around phenomena.
Sometimes they work, but often times there is a thing called a change --

SCHULTZ: But it`s an issue of fairness, is what it is. And it`s an
issue that every child should have an opportunity and should not be shorted
resources based on their family`s income or their socio-economic situation.


JACKSON: If you come and see, up and down, you see racial and
economic inequality. It`s unfair.

SCHULTZ: Reverend, we`ll do it again. I appreciate your time
tonight. Jesse Jackson with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW. That`s THE ED
SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz.

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.


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