IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The Ed Show for Monday, June 11, 2012

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guests: Eleanor Holmes Norton, Donna Lieberman, Heather MacDonald, Keli Goff, Joy Reid, Armstrong Williams, Joan Walsh

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GUEST HOST: Good evening, Americans. Welcome to
the Michael Eric Dyson show. Of course it`s not my show, it`s ED SHOW.
I`m glad to stand in for him.

We have discovered what kind of people Mitt Romney, quote, "likes to
fire," and I`ll tell you what it`s like to be a stupid in Mitt`s boarding
school. It`s a story you`ll only get here. This is THE ED SHOW -- and as
the great Ed Schultz would say -- let`s get to work.


CHRIS JANSING, NBC NEWS: Do you think that taxpayers of this country
want to hear fewer firefighters, fewer teachers, fewer police officers?

JOHN SUNUNU (R), ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: If there`s fewer kids in the
classroom, the taxpayers want to hear there will be fewer teachers.

DYSON (voice-over): The Romney campaign stands by their candidate.
But layoffs for teachers, police and firefighters aren`t just bad politics.
They`re bad policy.

Just ask the Romney-backing governors of Republican states who had to
rehire laid off public workers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has this become personal?

DYSON: Darrell Issa`s political witch hunt turns into a contempt
hearing for Attorney General Eric Holder.

REP. DARRELL Issa (R), CALIFORNIA: No, Mr. Attorney General, you`re
not a good witness.

DYSON: Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton will refute Issa`s claims

And New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to save stop and frisk,
even though it`s backers fully admit it`s racially profiled.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: It`s racial profiling but it`s really
criminal profiling.

DYSON: We`ll bring you both sides of the debate tonight.


DYSON: The Obama campaign wants to make sure Americans remember Mitt
Romney`s plan for public service employees, especially when it comes to
teachers, firefighters, and police officers.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Instead he wants to add more
to government. He wants another stimulus. He wants to hire more
government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more

Did he not get the message in Wisconsin? The American people did.
It`s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.


DYSON: President Obama used his weekly address to touch on the
importance of hiring more public employees, namely teachers.


matter. One study found that a good teacher can increase the lifetime
income of a classroom by over $250,000. A great teacher can change the
course of a child`s life. So the last thing our country needs is to have
fewer teachers in our schools.


DYSON: The Obama campaign is not taking this one lightly. A new web
ad highlights state and local officials in Massachusetts, questioning the
job cutting policies of Mitt Romney, when he was governor of the state.


ROB DOLAN: Local government was cut dramatically. We lost police,
firefighter, teachers, at rapid rates -- people that directly impact the
lives of every citizen. Our cities were less safe, not as clean, larger
class sizes.


DYSON: Republicans want to pretend government job losses don`t hurt
the economy, but the facts are not on their side.

We are currently experiencing the only time in the last 30 years in
which public sector jobs have not been part of the post recession recovery.
And they wonder why the current recovery is sluggish. Even Ronald Reagan
added public sector jobs coming out of the recession. Public employment
was up 3.1 percent under Reagan, but down 2.7 percent under President Obama
and the Republican Congress.

Those jobs make a difference in the overall unemployment picture.
According to the "Wall Street Journal," unemployment would be a full
percentage point lower with those public sector jobs factored in. It all
has an affect on the economy.

The Center for Budget Priority says, quote, "Private and public sector
workers who are laid off or who see their pay reduced by less and further
reduced economic activity."

Today, the Romney camp remains steadfast in its denial. Here`s Romney
supporter John Sununu on MSNBC.


SUNUNU: You have cities in the country in which the school population
peaked 10, 15 years ago, and yet the number of teachers that they have
maintained has not changed. I think this is a real issue and people ought
to stop jumping on it as a gaffe and understand there`s wisdom in the


DYSON: Sununu sees wisdom in the idea of reducing the number of
teachers in this country, even though the census numbers show an increase
in school enrollment every year. By 2015, enrollment is projected to be
nearly 10 million students higher than it was at the beginning of the last

Of course, it wouldn`t be a full-court press from the GOP without
words from the real leader of the Republican Party.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Nobody`s opposed to cops or
firefighters or teachers, but they aren`t private sector jobs. They do not
contribute to economic growth.


DYSON: I guess Rush Limbaugh doesn`t think teachers, firefighters, or
police officers ever spend any money. It`s frustrating enough to have
Republican spokesmen push this bill of goods but it`s even worse when the
people responsible for public job losses try to do the same.


Vocal Obama Chris Christie is a walking billboard for slash and burn
governance at the state level. He order 1,200 New Jersey public employees
laid of in 2010.

The consequences were immediate and devastating. Take the campaign,
city of Camden, New Jersey. After 168 police officers were laid off in
2010, violent crime spiked 20 percent. The city needed $2.5 million in
grant money to rehire 50 officers.

The story is no different this year. Camden is one of 29 cities that
received FEMA grants to adequately staff their fire departments and
emergency services after cuts at the state level.

So, the federal government is still on the hook paying for jobs
governors like Chris Christie did away with so recklessly. But I can
understand the mentality of these governors and Mitt Romney, especially
when it comes to education.

You see, I attended the same boarding school as Mitt Romney for a year
and a half in the mid `70s. I won a scholarship to the prestigious
Cranbrook school. I saw the small classrooms, the individual attention
paid by teachers, the constant nurturing of students and the freedom to
range widely in academic pursuits.

This was unlike the experience at the school I eventually graduated
from in Detroit`s inner city. We had secondhand textbooks, dilapidated
facilities and overcrowded classrooms. The contrast was dramatic.

Limited economic investment did not allow Northwestern High School to
provide the same service as Cranbrook. But I believe the teachers at
Northwestern High School were even more inspiring because they had to
transcend their resources, often paying out of their own pockets to make
sure the students were protected. They have to do more with a lot less.

These teachers, like most people who go into public service jobs,
provide great value to our society. I understand why Mitt Romney and
others from his background have a hard time seeing that.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: does Mitt Romney really believe that public servants are the
problem? Text "A" for yes, text "B" for no to 622639. Or go to our blog I`ll bring you the results later in the show.

Joining me now is E.J. Dionne, MSNBC contributor, "Washington Post"
columnist, fellow Georgetown professor, and author of "Our Divided
Political Heart."

Welcome to the show, E.J. Dionne.

E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: Good to be with you, colleague.

DYSON: All right, my friend.

Look, is the Romney camp way off track with their message on this one?
They seem to be ranging far afield of the facts and the truth.

DIONNE: Well, I think that they are very much on the line of the
Republican Party and modern conservatism which has turned its largely into
an anti-government creed. Conservatives didn`t used to be quite this
dogmatically anti-government, but they are now. I think one of the reasons
this happened is that progressives weren`t tough enough in actually
defending government`s role.

I mean, conservatives say all the time, government doesn`t create
jobs. The answer to that is, yes, government does create jobs. There was
a report from the CBO that showed without the stimulus, we probably would
have had something like 3.3 million fewer jobs and we might have fallen
into recession back in 2010.

So it`s not just that these jobs are important, they`re important as
in the case of teachers, to economic growth, so are the construction jobs
government creates. But as you suggested, they`re very important for the
money that people spend and put into the rest of the economy.

The Republicans, right now -- the Republicans along with conservatives
in Europe are arguing for austerity and saying cutting government is the
key to everything. But that sort of -- that goes right against all the
lessons we learned, for example, in the Great Depression.

DYSON: Yes. Well, look, E.J., if you get that message and if you
understand that as a prominent political columnist and professor, why can`t
the Democrats really make that message very clear and visible? Why aren`t
they more articulate about that?

DIONNE: Well, I think there`s a lot of fear because first of all, we
went through periods when people lost faith in government, all the way back
beginning with Vietnam and Watergate. And the conservatives have been at
the anti-government message for 30 years.

And so, it`s not that they`re inarticulate. It`s that I think they`re
constantly trimming a little bit to play to the anti-government sentiment
they know is out there. So, yes, yes, we like government, but I really
love the private sector, or, well, yes, I know there are problems with
government, but -- and I do think that there should be two halves to this
message. You know, the first half is government has done and can do good

And one of the points of my book is to look back to people like
Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, and Abraham Lincoln who saw a very robust
role for government in building the country. And then that has to be
accompanied with a message of government reform. We care about government
so much that we want it to work even better. I think that`s the kind of
message progressives and liberals have to put out there.

DYSON: Absolutely.

So, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker responded to Romney`s comments on
"Face the Nation" yesterday.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I think in the end, the big issue
is that the private sector still needs more help and the answer`s not more
big government. I know in my state, our reforms a allowed us to protect
firefighters, police officers and teachers. That`s not what I think when I
think of big government.


DYSON: Do you think Romney made things difficult for Republican
governments who made the case they`re cutting nonessential services?
That`s clearly not the case.

DIONNE: First of all, I think when you find yourself to the right of
Scott Walker, you might want to reconsider your position. But you know, I
think Republican governors are split on this. I think there were some who
really welcomed the stimulus assistance. Governor McDonnell out in
Virginia, who`s very conservative, recently said the stimulus was helpful.

I think there are others who really are ideologues and want to cut
government and are going to stick to the party line. But it is amazing
that Scott Walker is somebody you think of as a very, very conservative
governor, but he realized the costs of coming, of looking like you`re
against cops and firefighters and teachers.

DYSON: All right. E.J. Dionne, thank you so much, my friend.

DIONNE: Good to be with you. Thank you.

DYSON: Thank you.

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.

Republican Congressman Darrell Issa is on a political witch hunt with
Attorney General Eric Holder his target. That`s next.

And later, go back to Kenya? The Supreme Court busts a birther
lawsuit. But the believers are alive and well.

We`ll be right back.


DYSON: Coming up on THE ED SHOW, Congressman Darrell Issa wants to
hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over the Justice Department`s
Fast and Furious program. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is calling
it a political hit job, and she`s next.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending New York City`s controversial
stop and frisk law. Critics and proponents agree. It`s racial profiling.
So why is it allowed? That debate is ahead.

And the Justice Department is officially suing the state of Florida
over its planned voter purge. The latest on that breaking news is ahead.

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`ll be right back.


DYSON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Darrell
Issa, wants to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. Today, Issa
announced his committee will consider a contempt resolution on June 20th.
He claims it`s not a political witch hunt.


ISSA: But ultimately it`s not about going to contempt. It`s about
getting cooperation and legitimate discovery and in this case, they`re not
asserting privilege, they`re simply not giving the documents the American
people deserve.


DYSON: This revolves around the Justice Department`s Fast and Furious
operation. Today, the deputy attorney general sent Chairman Issa a letter
calling the contempt resolution premature. Chairman Issa wants to
grandstand as he did last week.


ISSA: I want to ask you, first of all, today, have you and your
attorneys produced internally the materials responsive to the subpoenas?

ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: We believe that we have responded to
the subpoena --

ISSA: No, Mr. Attorney General, you`re not a good witness. You know,
I appreciate there was hostility between the attorney general and myself.

HOLDER: Can I just make --

REP. JOHN CONYERS (D), MICHIGAN: I`d like to yield to the attorney
general at this point, please.

HOLDER: Well, I -- with all due respect to Chairman Issa, he says
there`s hostility between us. I don`t feel that. You know, I understand
he`s asking questions. I`m trying to respond as best I can. I`m not
feeling hostile at all. I`m pretty calm. I`m OK.


DYSON: Thank God for calm, black men. Here`s part of the Justice
Department`s official response. "Chairman Issa`s latest maneuver is
unfortunate and unwarranted, particularly given the ongoing discussions.
From the beginning, Chairman Issa has distorted the facts, ignored
testimony and flung inaccurate accusations at the attorney general and
others. And this latest move fits within that tired political playbook."

Let`s turn to Eleanor Holmes Norton, congresswoman from the District
of Columbia and another Georgetown colleague who`s on the House Oversight

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, thank you for coming on.

Good to be with you.

DYSON: The ranking Democrat on your committee, Elijah Cummings, said,
"Holding someone in contempt of Congress is one of the most serious and
formal actions our committee can take and it should not be used as a
political tool to generate press as part of an election year witch hunt
against the Obama administration."

What are your thoughts about that? Do you agree with Congressman

NORTON: Wholly. Moreover, it shouldn`t be used as a negotiating
tactic. Chairman Issa virtually admitted that in the clip you just showed.
He said, oh, it`s not about going to contempt. It`s about, quote, "getting
more cooperation from the attorney general."

The documents subpoenaed are under court seal or pertain to ongoing
criminal investigations or part of a fishing expedition to see if there`s
anything there. And what`s really important I think to know here is that
the American people must think Fast and Furious is all about stone throwing
between Republicans and Democrats. I bet you the 99.9 percent wouldn`t
know what Fast and Furious was all about. So I would like a minute on
that, because this is a double tragedy.

The first and foremost, by far, tragedy, was the killing of an agent,
a border control agent when some guns kept coming from the United States.
The second tragedy, to be sure not nearly as tragic, but it`s important to
understand, the Bush and the Obama administration felt compelled to use
what are called gun walking tactics. Because they -- that is to say,
trying to let the guns go in a sting operation because the Republicans
bought and paid for by the gun lobby refused to fill a gaping hole in
federal laws that makes it impossible to prosecute people who engage in
purchases, mass purchases, of guns or gun running.


NORTON: The law simply doesn`t allow that, so that they try to follow
these guns. One of these guns killed a devoted agent.

We had heard nothing about that in committee. And I`m on the
committee. That`s because they`ve been trying to see who struck John.

DYSON: Right.

NORTON: And in something that began, tactics that began in the Bush
administration and continued into the Obama administration.

DYSON: Sure. That`s very clear, to make that point that this began
under the Bush administration with a different name. It`s continued under
the Obama administration under this rubric of Fast and Furious.

Here`s Chairman Issa recently calling the Obama administration


ISSA: But again, we`re very busy in Washington with a corrupt
government, with a government that I said more than a year ago was perhaps,
because of the money, because of the amount of TARP and stimulus funds, was
going to be the most corrupt government in history and it`s proving to be


DYSON: Now, Chairman Issa has tried his best to create corruption
where it doesn`t exist, hasn`t he?

NORTON: He does. When you use a word like that -- I thought Chairman
Issa had moved off that kind of language. You better be able to come up
with a Fast and Furious, or all the evidence to back that up. We don`t
throw around words like that especially when we`re talking about the
attorney general of the United States. Nobody has ever tied him to Fast
and Furious or to any subpoenas or to knowing anything about this.

So, it`s a kind of reckless charge that leads the American people to
say, who cares? They`re looking at the economy to see if anything`s going
to happen to it and paying no attention to this. I wonder if these
subpoenas will ever go to the House floor.

No, never has a cabinet official been -- has a contempt citation
against a cabinet official been enforced by the courts of the United
States. Do you really expect the courts to come forward now and be dragged
into partisan subpoenas? I don`t, Eric. I don`t.

DYSON: I don`t think we`re going to see that at all. Congresswoman
Eleanor Holmes Norton -- thank you so very much.

NORTON: Always a pleasure.

DYSON: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is out defending the city`s
controversial stop and frisk policy. Is it racial profiling? Donna
Lieberman and Heather MacDonald weigh in on that.

And later, United Health Care promises to keep key provisions in place
even if the president`s health care law is overturn. Is it a goodwill
gesture or a P.R. stunt?

Stay tuned.



O`REILLY: So they know these guys carry pot and other drugs and they
stop and they frisk and they fine them and send them into the system.
That`s what drives crime down. Get them off the street.

The left hates that. Hates it. Because it is racial profiling. But
it`s really criminal profiling.


DYSON: To hear Bill O`Reilly tell it, stop and frisk not only works,
it makes sense. But the numbers don`t lie. Stop and frisk, a policy that
gives New York City police officers the authority to stop and search people
they consider suspicious disproportionately affects young black and Latino

Now, Major Michael Bloomberg is defending the controversial strategy.


MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK: There`s no denying that the
stop takes guns off the streets and save lives. To borrow a phrase from
President Clinton, I believe the practice needs to be mended, not ended.


DYSON: Bloomberg conceded while policy is not perfect, it`s a
legitimate police tactic that works.

As "Think Progress" points out, of the people that were stopped and
frisked last year, a weapon was found 1.9 percent of the time. New data
projects police officers could make 800,000 stops this year. That`s more
than twice the population of Miami, 85 percent of those stopped were black
or Latino, even though the groups make up half of New York City`s police

In fact, the number of stop and frisk among young black men exceeds
the city`s population of young black men.

But Bloomberg insists the NYPD does not racially profile people and
will not tolerate profiling.


BLOOMBERG: No person should ever be stopped because of race. Stop
should be based solely on suspicion of criminal activity and nothing short
of that will be tolerated. So --



DYSON: I`m joined now by Donna Lieberman, executive director of the
New York Civil Liberties Union, and Heather MacDonald, senior fellow at the
Manhattan Institute and author of the book "Are Cops Racist?"

Thank you both for coming on.

So, is this racial profiling?

know, the mayor says this is all about stopping criminals. Well, do you
mean to tell me that the NYPD, New York`s finest, is wrong 90 percent of
the time? Ninety percent of the people that they stop are so innocent that
in an era of zero tolerance, they walk away without even a summons for
disorderly conduct.

So the NYPD isn`t stopping suspecting criminals. They`re stopping
suspected black and Latino people. And that`s racial profiling and it`s

DYSON: Ms. MacDonald, what do you say?

with the way the NYPD developed its tactics. It`s going into neighborhoods
where people are being most victimized by crime. That crime is what drives
where the police go. And nothing has had as large an effect on saving
minority lives as the New York proactive policing.

You mentioned the statistics, Michael, about the proportion of people
who have been stopped and their race. What really matters is the
proportion of people who are being victimized by crime, Blacks and
Hispanics are 96 percent of all shooting victims in New York City. But
they also commit 98 percent of all shootings. Whites commit 1.4 percent of
all shootings.

Brownsville, Brooklyn, is a particular target of critics now because
it has a high stop rate. What you never hear is the per capita shooting
rate in Brownsville is 81 times higher than Bay Ridge. What does that


MACDONALD: Last October, a woman was shot to death picking up her
child from elementary school by a thug shooting from the roof at groups of

DYSON: All right. Let`s let Ms. Lieberman respond. All right?

LIEBERMAN: You know, how on earth does it make us safer to subject
innocent young people to be stopped by the police, detained by the police,
patted down by the police, subjected to a full-blown search up against the

That doesn`t prevent crime. That simply terrorizes honest, innocent

DYSON: Heather, what about that argument, in this sense, that the
concentration on black and Latino people as a result of racial profiling
could be a circular argument. That is to say, a Duke University study just
proved that many more white people do drugs than black people. Yet they`re
not racially profiled. Had they been racially profiled, the number of
arrests would be up.

What about the consideration that racial profiling is a predictive
pattern of going after a population, as opposed to a resolution of a
problem? Give us your sense can racial profiling be done to white people.

MACDONALD: Homicides and shootings don`t lie. That is where people
are being killed. They`re not being killed on the Upper Eastside by
gunshots. I agree that being stopped and frisked when you`re innocent is
an extraordinarily humiliating experience.

DYSON: Has it ever happened to you?

MACDONALD: It has not. I do not live in a high crime neighborhood.
If I did, if there were 34-year-old mothers being shot while picking up
their kids in my neighborhood, the police would be there. But just because
somebody has not been arrested or issued a summons after a stop does not
mean that that stop did not prevent crime.

If you`re on a drug set and you`re casing, you`re not going to have
any evidence on you that would justify an arrest. You could have been
casing -- you`re not going to find any evidence --

DYSON: Look at the presupposition. You`re supposing, presupposing
that that black person is more likely to have the potential to commit that
crime and that some crime could be averted because they were potentially
removed from the ability to do that. That`s a classic example of racial

LIEBERMAN: And not only that. It`s not just in communities of color.
Unfortunately, black and Latino people are profiled wherever they go in the
city. In Park Slope, which has a vast majority of white people, blacks and
Latinos constitute way more than a majority of the stop and frisks. The
same is true in the West Village in New York -- in Manhattan.

So this isn`t about communities with high populations of color. This
is about a policy that follows black and Latino people wherever they go in
the city. And it`s about stopping them and throwing them up against the
wall, whether they`ve done something wrong or not.

DYSON: We have 30 seconds. Heather, the last word.

MACDONALD: Police have to be courteous. They have to explain their
actions. They are trying to protect people. Ten thousand minority males
are alive today who would have been killed --

LIEBERMAN: that`s such a baloney statistic. Don`t throw around fake
numbers. It`s absolutely not true. You look at the numbers and --


DYSON: We`re going to have to continue this discussion.


DYSON: We better stop and be not frisky tonight. But we`re going to
continue this conversation. Donna Lieberman and Heather McDonald, thank
you so much.

There`s a lot more coming up in the next half hour on THE ED SHOW.
Stay tuned.

The Supreme Court refuses to take the Alan Keyes Birther case.


that matters.


DYSON: Why won`t this issue just die?


DONALD TRUMP, "THE APPRENTICE": A lot of people do not think it was
an authentic certificate.


DYSON: The big panel weighs in next.

The biggest health insurer in the country say they will keep provision
of Obamacare even if Obamacare is struck down by the Supreme Court. But is
it really change you can believe in?

And Republican royalty rips his own party for disgracing Ronald
Reagan. Joan Walsh on the Reagan devolution ahead.


DYSON: Welcome back. The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a critical blow to
the Birther movement today. The court refused to hear an appeal
challenging the president`s citizenship and his eligibility to serve as
commander in chief.

These are the men who challenged the president`s citizenship and got
denied today, former presidential candidate Alan Keyes, his running mate
Wiley Drake, and their party chair Markham Robinson.

While their Birther lawsuit is dead, their belief seems to be alive
and well. In Tennessee, 45 percent of Republicans polled said they do not
believe the president is a citizen; 38 percent of Republicans polled in
Georgia say they don`t believe Mr. Obama was born here. And in Ohio, it`s
37 percent of Republicans polled.

And then there`s Texas. Oh, yes, Texas, where the Republican
candidate for lieutenant governor is fighting for his political life. He`s
the end of his convention -- here`s the end of his convention speech on
Friday night.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We won`t stop fighting until we send Barack Obama
back to Chicago.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, Kenya. Ladies and gentlemen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wherever he wants to go. That`s fine, perfect.


DYSON: Mighty nice of them, Congo, Kenya, Zaire, what difference does
it make? Let`s bring in radio and TV talk show host Armstrong Williams,
Joanne Reid, managing editor for, and Keli Goff, author of "The
GQ Candidate."

Ladies and gent, welcome to show. So what`s it going to take to end
the Birther allegations? Is this not enough, Joanne, Kelly?

JOY REID, THEGRIO.COM: I think that for a certain part of the
Republican base, their sort of hatred of Barack Obama, really their
disappointment at not having had their preferred candidate, really Sarah
Palin, win the last presidential election has caused a lot of people to
just decide that Barack Obama really isn`t president. It just didn`t
happen. He isn`t president. He isn`t legitimate.

There`s really nothing you can do to argue against the Birther meme.
What`s really disturbing is that the leadership of the Republican party
hasn`t done more to tamp town this sort of irrational -- it`s a combination
of fear and hatred of the president of the United States. I mean, Alan
Keyes, for him it might be a bit personal. He did get beaten by Barack
Obama for the United States Senate.

KELI GOFF, LOOP21.COM: We have him to thank for President Obama, in a

DYSON: Miss Goff, what do you think?

GOFF: If there`s anyone more broken hearted that this didn`t make it
to the Supreme Court than Alan Keyes, it would be me. Because I`m for Alan
Keyes having as many platforms as possible, if for no other reason than
because it`s entertaining. I just would have absolutely loved to have seen
him make his case before the Supreme Court.

So it`s a bummer for me on that end. But in all seriousness, you
know, we can joke about something like this and this cast of wacky
characters, including our friend Orly, who can`t get enough of her either.
But the reality is the Southern Poverty Law Center released a study that
shows that hate group membership has sky rocketed under this president.

So when you hear someone from my home state of Texas -- again, always
making us look good. First it was the last president, then it was Governor
Perry and then, you know, it`s jokes about Kenya and the Congo and ore
president. But in all seriousness, there`s something very serious where
this is all connected. This is not disconnected where you have people
making jokes about where the president`s from and the rise in hate group
membership, white pride groups. There`s a connection there.

DYSON: Right. Armstrong, I`m interested in your perspective. You`re
a conservative prominent host. Do you find the Birther business all much
adieu about nothing? Do you think there`s a legitimate hook here? Or do
you it is time for us to move on?

to move on. And I think the Supreme Court`s decision today was unanimous.
But I wouldn`t dare demonize Americans who continue to push this Birther
issue as being hateful of the president.

DYSON: Why not, why not?

WILLIAMS: I just think they disagree with his policies. They were
hateful toward Clinton. They were hateful toward Bush.

DYSON: -- ask where John McCain was born, that he wasn`t -- potential
that he wasn`t born in the United States.

REID: And he wasn`t.

DYSON: Right. Why is the cloud of suspicion over Obama more
legitimate than it is over anybody else? That`s all I`m asking.

WILLIAMS: Professor Dyson, it`s a non issue. He`s a president of the
United States. He was elected by plurality. And they will again decide
his fate.

DYSON: Mr. Williams, you don`t want to hold your fellow conservatives

WILLIAMS: This is a free country. People have a right to free speech
and express themselves --

DYSON: Do you think they`re right?

WILLIAMS: It`s not my decision. I don`t think it`s right. I think
he`s legitimate. I think he`s definitely legitimate. I think he`s an
American citizen. I have no doubt about that.

DYSON: Because somebody might pull papers out on you and me and ask
where you came from. If the president can`t get in, a brother like you
can`t get in either. I think it`s to our self interest.

Big developments tonight in the Florida voter purge. We`ve got
dueling lawsuits. The Justice Department sent a letter to the secretary of
state saying it will ask a court to stop Florida from purging the roles.
The Justice Department says Florida`s voter purge has critical
imperfections that could confuse voters.

Meanwhile, Governor Rick Scott says Florida is suing the Department of
Homeland Security to get access to a federal database so it can keep
purging the voter rolls. The attack on Holder on the one hand, and then
this move. The state has been using Florida driver`s license records so

Why does Governor Scott keep pushing this issue? Can anybody tell me?

WILLIAMS: You know what, I think we have two issues here. We have an
election issue and we have a political issue. I think it`s very legitimate
for any state to want to make sure they purge and make sure that no -- that
everyone who`s voting is legitimate, that if people have died they`re off
the rolls. I think that`s a legitimate issue.

The political issue is that neither side wants to give up an inch in
the state of Florida. Ever since Bush versus Gore, Florida has become a
very controversial place for voter fraud. With an election this cycle
where Florida can decide the next president, the Republicans don`t want to
give up an inch. That`s why Rubio and many of the party faithful are not
supporting it. It`s become a political issue.

DYSON: Joanne then Kelly.

REID: Just having spent the last 14 years in the state of Florida, I
can tell you when Kurt Browning, the former secretary of state, was asked,
he put together this there 182,000 person purge list. He was asked how
many cases of voter fraud have there been in the state of Florida that back
up the need to do this? He had to answer none.

In the current purge that`s going on in Florida, the number of people
who have actually admitted to not being citizens as a result of this purge
is exactly two. But the number of people who could have been
disenfranchised had they not returned that letter when they were accused of
being non citizens, literally because they had a Hispanic surname, was in
the hundreds.

This is literally Republicans reacting against a demographic reality.
They`re not able to win over Hispanic votes so they`re trying to keep
Hispanics from voting. It`s an insidious form of voter suppression. I
think it`s a big problem for the Republicans image-wise with Hispanics.


GOFF: Getting back to your original question, Professor Dyson, you
asked why is Governor Scott pushing this so much? The answer is pretty
simple. There were five million new voters in the 2008 presidential
election. The overwhelming majority of them were voters of color.

DYSON: So it`s a purge as a threat to the Obama re-election campaign?

GOFF: It is, absolutely. Two million of those voters were African-
American and Latino; 600,000 of them were Asian-Americans. You do the math
on who we`re looking at in terms of that data, that green card data and
that other data that they`re seeking from the federal government. And
you`re going to see a lot of overlap.


DYSON: we have to end it here. Jump in real quick, Armstrong.

WILLIAMS: The Republicans are not supporting Governor Scott in this
effort. Governor Scott is on his own.

GOFF: Some are. Marco Rubio, who happens to be Latino and who
recognizes --

REID: You know, the reality is there is a diminishing return on
Cuban-American voters, who tend to lean Republican in the state. Younger
Cuban-Americans are trending Democrat. Now fully half of Hispanics in
Florida are the kind of Hispanics that don`t vote Republican.

DYSON: Armstrong Williams, Joyanne Reid and Keli Goff, thank you so

Coming up, the Supreme Court is set to rule on the health care law
later this month. But major health insurance companies have already made
their ruling. It could be a pr stunt. We`ll have the latest next.


DYSON: Welcome back. Later this month, the Supreme Court could roll
back parts of President Obama`s health care law. But three major insurance
providers say they will keep key provisions in place, regardless of the
court`s decision. However, this could be just a bait and switch.

United Health Care and Humana announced today they plan to let
customers keep children on their plans until the age of 26, keep free
preventative care, do away with lifetime benefit limits, eliminate
retroactive termination of coverage, and continue independent appeals of
coverage decisions.

Etna plans to do the same except for benefit limits and early
termination. Meanwhile, they will not uphold the most popular provision
that bans discrimination of children with preexisting conditions. A recent
"New York Times" poll shows 85 percent of Americans believe insurance
companies should cover people with preexisting conditions.

We here at THE ED SHOW are a bit skeptical of large for-profit
insurance companies who have not shown any goodwill to their customers in
the past. So we reached out to a former vice president of Cigna and noted
whistle blower, Wendell Potter, and this is what he had to say: quote,
"this is a carefully orchestrated PR campaign to get lawmakers to think
they will do the right thing without the Affordable Care Act. What they
are doing is anticipating the Supreme Court will rule the individual
mandate unconstitutional, leaving the rest of the law to go forward. That
is the insurers` worst nightmare. They`re laying the groundwork to try to
get Congress to think that the consumer protections in the law can and
should be repealed."

These are private companies. Their missions is to make as much money
as possible. For example, United Health Group made 8.5 billion dollars in
profit last year. So they could keep these provisions in place and lose
money. Or they could do away with them and push those profits even higher.
No one knows.

What do you think they`re going to do?

Tonight in our survey, I asked you does Mitt Romney really believe
public servants are the problem? Ninety one percent say yes; nine percent
say no.

Coming up, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush says there would be no
place for his father or Ronald Reagan in today`s Republican party. Joan
Walsh will join me to discuss that and much more. Stay tuned.



many that this bill is not politically popular. I support it because it`s
right for America. I support it because it`s fair. I support it because
it will, when combined with our cuts in government spending, reduce
interest rates and put more Americans back to work again.

The measure that Congress is about to vote on, while not perfect in
the eyes of any one of us, will bring us closer to the goal of a balanced
budget, restored industrial power and employment for all who want to work.
Together we can reach that goal.


DYSON: That was Ronald Reagan back in 1983, making the case to raise
taxes. Now one Republican says there would be no room for Reagan in
today`s Republican party or room for his successor, President George
Herbert Walker Bush. President Bush`s son, former Florida Governor Jeb
Bush, told a group of journalists today, quote, "Ronald Reagan would have,
based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common
ground, as would my dad -- they would have had a hard time if you define
the Republican party, and I don`t say, as having an orthodoxy that doesn`t
allow for disagreement. Doesn`t allow for finding some common ground."

Bush went on to say, quote, "back to my dad`s time or Ronald Reagan`s
time, they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan support that
right now would be difficult to imagine happening. Reagan raised taxes.
He compromised with Democrats in Congress, policies the Republican nominee
for president Mitt Romney won`t campaign on."

Jeb Bush`s comments are now being called bizarre and foolish by the
architect of modern GOP`s anti-tax pledge, Grover Norquist. Norquist
defended Reagan from the moderate label, and argued Reagan would embrace
today`s GOP, telling "Talking Points Memo," quote, "he didn`t have a
Republican House committed to not raising taxes as president. And he had a
pre-Reagan Senate. This is the Republican party that Reagan created, that
he envisioned."

Let`s turn to Joan Walsh, editor at large for Welcome to
the show, Joan.

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Thanks, Michael.

DYSON: Is Grover Norquist engaging in some revisionist history here,
Joan, that really misses the point of what we clearly saw Reagan doing?

WALSH: Well, yeah, of course he is. Of course he wants to claim
Reagan for this party that he`s created, that has brought the country to
the brink of a debt crisis and continues to mire the country in a terrible
recession, Michael. He needs to say, Ronald Reagan wanted that. Ronald
Reagan would have endorsed that.

But I think it`s actually more interesting to look at what Jeb Bush is
doing, because while he`s declaring his independence from Grover Norquist
and his party, he`s also delivering a kind of vote of no confidence in Mitt
Romney, even though he`s endorsed him. Because I see that as -- it is a
bizarre statement for someone if you think -- it`s not something you say if
you think your party is headed to a great win in November.

It`s really the kind of thing you hear the morning after an election
where you`ve done very badly. I really wonder what`s up with that.

DYSON: He`s already anticipating a potential loss of Mitt Romney,
should we say? I don`t want to put words in your mouth. Do you think he`s
ginning up to that point?

WALSH: That`s the way I took it. If you`re saying we probably do
need to race revenues and you -- he also went on to criticize him, you
know, quite directly for his immigration, for his really anti-immigrant

DYSON: Right.

WALSH: You know, those are not the kinds of things you do if you are
confident in your candidate and you think your party is going to prevail in
November. They`re really the kinds of things you do if you`re worried that
you`re headed for a great defeat and you`re going to be regrouping in
December and January.

DYSON: Right. Let`s stick to that point. He`s also questioning the
GOP`s approach to immigration. He says Romney needs to change his tone on
the subject matter. Now, some of this may be existential given the fact
that Jeb Bush is married to a woman of Latino descent, which seems to make
a difference in his understanding holistically of the problem. Will the
Republican party heed his advice?

WALSH: No, not any time soon. It will be interesting, if Mitt Romney
loses in November, I think that there will just be a bloodbath and there
will be a lot of blame and finger pointing. But it`s going to come in two
directions. You will see people like Jeb Bush saying, we went too far, we
have to take the party back from the Tea Party. But then I think you`ll
also see Tea Party people saying Mitt Romney was never our guy. Mitt
Romney was a moderate. And what we really need is somebody to the right of
Ronald Reagan, to the right of Attila the Hun.

But I do feel that Jeb Bush is stepping out there, whether it`s hoping
for 2016 or hoping to be a party elder reshaping his party, in advance of
what it seems like he thinks is not a positive electoral direction for Mitt
Romney and the party.

DYSON: This is unfair. We only have 30 seconds left. But you can do
it. You`re Joan Walsh. He also doubts whether any president can improve
the economy considering the headwinds in Europe. President Obama has been
mocked by the right for making the same argument. Will we see other
Republicans come to the president`s defense?

WALSH: No, we won`t. I was shocked. That was probably the most
shocking thing he said in that whole line of remarks. It really does help
the president. It does not help Mitt Romney. But all three things are
really a dose of realism for this party that is stuck in a fantasy. So
we`ll see.

DYSON: No revisionist history in Joan Walsh. Thank you so much for
coming on.

WALSH: Thanks, Michael.

DYSON: That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in for Ed
Schultz. Ezra Klein is filling in for Rachel Maddow tonight. My Brother,
Ezra, good evening, my friend.

EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Michael, how are you?

DYSON: I`m doing fine, my brother. Always great to see you on TV or
in the crib, as they say. Have a good show tonight, my friend.

KLEIN: Good to see you. Great job.


Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>