The Ed Show for Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Guests: Bernie Sanders, William Cohan, R.T. Rybak, Ari Melber, Krystal Ball, Jimmy Williams, Guy Benson, Vito Colucci

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GUEST HOST: Good evening, Americans. Welcome to
THE ED SHOW. I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in for Ed Schultz.

Senate Republicans rolled out the red carpet for JPMorgan CEO Jamie
Dimon today. Tonight, Bernie Sanders and I will not be as kind.

This is THE ED SHOW -- and as Ed would say -- let`s get to work.


SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Too big to fail banks are frankly too
big to manage and too big to regulate.

DYSON (voice-over): JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon takes heat from
Democrats and gets love from Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Loss is unfortunate. You apologized for that.

SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We can hardly sit in judgment of
your losing $2 billion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re obviously renowned, likely so I think, as
being one of the most, you know, one of the best CEOs in the country for
financial institution.

DYSON: "Bloomberg`s" William Cohan on today`s missed opportunity with
Jamie Dimon. And Senator Bernie Sanders why the American people are still
exposed by the big bank casinos.

The Romney campaign goes silent on teachers, firefighters and police.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m not going to talk about

DYSON: We will show you exactly why Mitt Romney stopped talking.

And could prejudice cause President Obama the election in November?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is little Hussein.

DYSON: A controversial new study on racism in America says it could

forward to the future we imagined, where everybody`s getting a fair shot.


DYSON: Who needs reality television when you have the Hollywood halls
of the United States Congress? What happened on Capitol Hill today should
have been a step toward preventing another financial crisis that threatens
the global economy. What we got instead was a two-hour display of
political theater that could have won a Tony Award if it wasn`t so

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon went before Congress today to explain
how his company suffered $2 billion and counting in losses by engaging in
the same high-stakes trading that led to the financial collapse of 2008.
The drama started right away, as Dimon was confronted in the chambers by
protesters decrying JPMorgan`s foreclosure process.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why don`t you face the people that you
foreclosed on?

PROTESTERS: Stop foreclosures now! Stop foreclosures now! Stop
foreclosures now! Stop foreclosures now! Stop foreclosures now!


DYSON: Dimon was able to weather that storm. He wasn`t too affected
by some mild prodding at the hands of Senate Democrats.


JAMIE DIMON, JPMORGAN CHASE CEO: We had a direct loss of maybe $1
billion or $2 billion. We would have been OK.

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D), OREGON: You have a difference of opinion with
many analysts in the situation who felt the AIG bailout did benefit you
enormously and I`m not --

DIMON: They`re factually wrong.

MERKLEY: This is not your hearing. I`m asking you to respond to
questions. I also only have five minutes.


DYSON: You know, maybe Dimon never lost his cool because he knew an
all-out love fest was ready to come in his way, in the form of swooning
Republican senators.


SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: You`re obviously renowned, rightfully
so, I think, as being one of the best CEOs in the country for financial
institutions. You missed this. It`s a blip on the radar screen.

DEMINT: We can hardly sit in judgment of your losing $2 billion. We
lose twice that every day here in Washington. And plan to continue to do
that every day.

SEN. MIKE JOHANNS (R), NEBRASKA: The loss is unfortunate. You`ve
apologized for that. You kind of walked us all through that.


DYSON: I mean, what is this? Hey, Brownie, you`re doing a heck of a
job? Is this a Senate hearing or an episode of the "Bachelor"?

It wasn`t a big leap for Republicans to turn their fawning over Jamie
Dimon into a symposium on less financial regulation.


SEN. MIKE CRAPO (R), IDAHO: One of the tensions we face here is we
want to be sure that we are adequately regulating our financial
institutions. We want to be sure also that we basically don`t have the
regulators running our private sector institutions.


DYSON: And who do the Republicans want to help them establish a
future of limited financial regulation? You got it. Jamie Dimon, of


CORKER: We`re here quizzing you. If you were sitting on this side of
the dais, what would you do to make our system safer than it is and still
meet the needs of a global economy like we have?

DEMINT: I guess if I could just leave you with any one thing, if you
could come back this time next year and talk about how the industry has put
together large scale best practice committees, that would help us keep
banking as a private enterprise rather than as a government institution.

SEN. ROGER WICKER (R), MISSISSIPPI: Did I hear you correctly there?


WICKER: Did you volunteer to be part of that conversation?

DIMON: Yes. I -- me and lots other folks will do whatever you want.
We`ll get apartments down here. Let`s go through in detail. We spoke to
lots of people.


DYSON: Wow. So the wolf that eats up the chickens is the one who
protects the eggs.

So here we are nearly four years after the worst economic crash since
the Great Depression and nothing has changed when it comes to

It was almost four years ago when the CEO of Lehman Brothers, Richard
Fuld, sat before Congress to push the blame around. Lehman Brothers was
one of major culprits of the supreme lending crisis, the subprime lending

Today, we had perhaps the nation`s most powerful banking CEO take a
browbeating from some Democrats and heaps of praise from Republicans. But
there`s no indication JPMorgan or any other bank will end the derivatives
trading and other risky gambles that could send us into another economic

Wall Street emerged from the financial crisis better than ever before.
The same can`t be said for people who lost their homes, their life savings
and worse.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: Do you believe risky behavior by Wall Street will drive us into
another financial crisis?

Text "A" for yes, text "B" for no to 622639 or go to our blog at I`ll bring you the results later in the show.

Joining me now is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Senator, let`s get right down to brass tax and knuckles. Do you think
anything good came from today`s hearing, with the fawning celebratory
rhetoric that emerged from the Republicans on that committee?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Well, Michael, I`m not on the
committee, and I wasn`t in the room. But from what I could hear, and what
I read, it really was quite incredible. You have Wall Street which through
their greed, their recklessness and their illegal behavior, caused this
horrendous recession, leading to mass unemployment, people losing their
homes, losing their life savings. We just have recent report from the
Feds, median family wealth between 2007 and 2010 went down 40 percent.

This is the results of Wall Street. Wall Street over the years spent
$5 billion in order to get deregulated so they could do what they`re doing
today and the result was the crash of our economy. And to exult and to
praise and to honor the head of the largest financial institution, when it
comes to Capitol Hill, is beyond my comprehension.

DYSON: Yes. Well, it`s beyond the comprehension of many people who
thought that somehow financial regulation had at least been at the center
of the kind of rhetoric of the Senate to be able to at least protect the
American people.

Do you think in light of this that we could actually end up having
even less financial regulation than we do now?

SANDERS: Well, look, I think the real story is -- and everybody
should understand this -- is this is not a question of Congress regulating
Wall Street. This is much more a question of Wall Street and all of their
money regulating Congress. Through their lobbying, through their campaign
contributions, and with Citizens United, that situation is even more

Look, Michael. Here`s where we are right now. These are some of the
issues that have to be addressed. You got six financial institutions
today. JPMorgan Chase being the largest, that have assets equivalent of
two-thirds of our GDP.

They write half the mortgages, two-thirds of the credit cards.

If Teddy Roosevelt were alive today, he would say -- I would agree
with him -- let`s break them up. You have banks charging working people 25
percent, 30 percent interest rates on their credit cards. We should be
addressing that issue.

You have incredible conflicts of interest at the Fed. Jamie Dimon,
head of the largest financial institution in this country, sits on the New
York Fed and during the financial crisis his bank received over $300
billion in low-interest loans. You think there`s a conflict of interest
there? You think we should deal with that?

So the issue now is does Congress have the guts to stand up to the
most powerful entity in the world, which is Wall Street and their money?

DYSON: Well, it`s a question that is not inconsequential.

Let`s take a listen here. Mitt Romney spoke at a Business Roundtable
in Washington today.


ROMNEY: I will halt all the Obama era regulations and carry out
review of those regulations and get rid of those that are not meaningful or
that cost jobs in this country. We`ve got too much regulatory burden.


DYSON: I don`t know, Bernie Sanders. Senator, that scares me. How
dangerous is this position?

SANDERS: It is, once again, almost beyond belief. We are where we
are today because Wall Street fought for deregulation, fought for the end
of Glass-Steagall, fought to allow commercial banks to merge with
investment banks, merge with insurance company. Fought to allow them to be
able to sell worthless products without the kind of proper regulation to
know what`s going on.

The end result is they drive us into a recession and then Mr. Romney
says the solution is to deregulate them even more. Let them do even more
of what they do.

The bottom line here is that what we need is a Wall Street and
financial institutions that cease being the largest gambling casino in the
world and start investing in the productive economy in America and start
helping us to create the jobs we desperately need.

DYSON: All right. Senator, thank you so very much as usual. Senator
Bernie Sanders.

Now, let`s turn to William Cohan, former managing director at JPMorgan
Chase, now a "Bloomberg View" columnist and author of "Money and Power: How
Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World."

Thank you for joining us, my friend.


DYSON: As someone who used to work at JPMorgan, what did you take
away from today`s testimony? How did it register to you?

COHAN: You know, it really registered. The thing that lingers in my
mind, Michael, is how did Jamie Dimon let this happen?

Jamie Dimon is known as a micromanager, he was a micromanager when he
worked at Citigroup, he was a micromanager at Bank One. He was a
micromanager when he came into JPMorgan Chase. He even stopped the use of
black sedans at night when bankers work late.

He is a serious micromanager and yet he let this chief investment
office with $350 billion of the bank`s cash reserves be invested without so
much as going to an investment committee meeting in that division to
regulate, to figure out what was going on. It`s like he said, I`m going to
let this Ina Drew, who was the chief investment officer who since resigned,
I`m going to let her do this. I have a lot of faith in her, I`m paying her
$15 million a year and I`m going to let her do this.

And unfortunately, it`s completely out of character for this guy to
let her do who she wanted to do without his supervision. I don`t
understand it. They didn`t answer it today.

DYSON: Right. I was going to say. So, we have no shred of evidence
to suggest any hint that he might have done this because, look, I`m
overburdened on this end, going to take care of other things that demand my
attention. This is something that she needs to pay attention to.

But as a micromanager, certainly this is a central operation of the
company there and it seems to me if you don`t take care of this particular
part of your bailiwick, everything else goes out of kilter.

COHAN: Well, I mean, obviously, this is a division making a ton of

DYSON: Right.

COHAN: As much a $5 billion over the years. This is the first time
they suffered a loss. Clearly, though, this is something -- I think what
he`s not saying here, what he didn`t say to the senators and what they
didn`t ask and maybe the House of Representatives on June 19th will ask
this question, what he did answer was, you know, why he let her do this.
And clearly this was done at her -- at his direction. He really wanted
this money to be invested in higher yielding assets and it was paying off
for a long time without anybody really knowing it.

When they lost money, that`s when we find out about it and now, of
course, we`re all sort of suffering from this.

DYSON: Sure. Well, he went on CNBC, that is Mr. Dimon after his
testimony. He talked about whether he`ll lose compensation because of the


DIMON: My comp is completely set by the board of directors, 100
percent set. I assume they`ll incorporate this in how they evaluate me.
I`ll leave that for them. It would be inappropriate for me to tell you
what the board is going to do.


DYSON: It`s not merit based, not based upon our performance. Is it?
This is what the rest of regular Americans have to do. Based on that
statement, do you imagine Dimon will be going home with any less in his
pocket at the end of the year?

COHAN: Well, you know, I think it`s all going to come down to the
kind of performance JPMorgan has the rest of the year. What they`re saying
inside JPMorgan in the second quarter is they`re going to perform very well
despite this $2 billion or $3 billion loss. If Jamie Dimon puts up the
numbers like last year, which is something like $20 billion a profit, he`ll
end up with that $23 million he had in income.

DYSON: But aren`t we in the same place before when the financial
crisis first hit and we talked about all the lessons we would learn and the
extraordinary, you know, hand wringing we did? Aren`t we really back deja
vu all over again here?

COHAN: Thank you, Michael. You`re absolutely right. I mean, nothing
is going to change on Wall Street. Bernie Sanders is absolutely right,
because the incentive system on Wall Street has not changed.

Bankers and traders on Wall Street are rewarded to take risks with
other people`s money. You saw that with the chief investment office at
JPMorgan Chase. That`s why they took these crazy risks. Until we make
these bankers and traders and executives of Wall Street firms have real
skin in the game again like they used to when they were private
partnerships, nothing is going to change on Wall Street.

DYSON: Wow, you`re doing with OPC, other people`s cash.

William Cohan, thank you very much.

COHAN: My pleasure. Thank you.

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

Up next, austerity now or austerity ow? The real risk Romney`s plan
poses to teachers, cops and firefighters. We`ll be right back.


DYSON: Coming up on THE ED SHOW, Mitt Romney says it`s absurd to say
his plans will kill jobs for public workers. We`ll break down just how his
policies would cut funding for teachers, firefighters and cops.

Will race play a factor in this year`s elections? A study shows it
did have an effect on the 2008 results. We`ll bring you the details.

And his story became the inspiration for the movie "Goodfellas."
Later, we`ll take a look back at the life of mobster-turned-informant Henry

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`ll be right back.


DYSON: Welcome back.

Here`s a pop quiz. Would Mitt Romney`s economic plan kill jobs for
teachers, firefighters and police officers? Here`s what Mitt thinks.


ROMNEY: Well, that`s a very strange accusation. Of course, teachers
and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level, and also by states.
The federal government doesn`t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen.
So, obviously that`s completely absurd.


DYSON: Now, that`s what he said. Here are the facts.

Romney`s plan would cut billions of dollars a year in funding for
teachers, firefighters and police officers. And he would do it on day one.

Let`s start with jobs for teachers. The federal government reportedly
pays for about 11 percent of the nation`s public school costs. The money
comes from programs like Title 1 and the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act. It comes from No Child Left Behind, too.

All of those federal programs fund the hiring and training of

Let`s talk about the police. The Community-Oriented Policing Services
program, or COPS, has been directly funding police hires with federal
dollars since 1994. The Congressional Research Service estimates 117,000
officers were hired through COPS last year. Again, that`s all federal
dollars. Firefighters get hired through federal grants under something
called the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program.

About 3,400 firefighters will get hired this year, thanks to federal
dollars. Here`s where it gets tricky. Mitt Romney wants to shrink
government and cut programs and he wants to do it on his first day in
office but he won`t be specific.

So, Greg Sargent at the "Washington Post" asked the Center on Budget
and Policy Priorities to analyze what we do know about Romney`s cuts. The
center calculates that Romney`s budget would require a 29 percent cut
across the board. So federal programs that fund teacher, police, and
firefighter jobs would take a $12 billion hit. If Romney doesn`t cut
those, he`s going to have to squeeze other programs. Like Medicare.

There are two things to remember here, my friends. First, federal
money does hire teachers, cops, and firefighters. Second, Romney`s cuts
could be devastating to the people we depend on the most.

Let`s bring in R.T. Rybak, mayor of Minneapolis and vice chair of the
Democratic National Committee.

Mayor, welcome to the show.


DYSON: Now, given all the things we just kind of helped the American
public understand, how could Romney be so wrong on this?

RYBAK: Well, first, it`s pretty remarkable a guy running for
president wouldn`t know that the federal government actually uses resources
to put cops and firefighters on the street and teachers in classrooms.
That happens normally. It happened especially when the economy collapsed.

Stop and think about this. President walked into office when the Bush
economy collapsed. The president delivered a stimulus program that helped
us put police on the street in Minneapolis and police across the country.
Those programs continued. There`s something called the Safer Grant that we
just got that put six firefighters on the street in Minneapolis and that`s
true across the country.

Now, I guess I can understand why Mitt Romney wouldn`t seem to know
about it because I met with a group of Massachusetts mayors a few months
back. They just said that this governor Romney was frankly clueless about
how to work with cities and local services. The most basic form of
government is to educate a kid to keep your kids safe, to keep the house
from burning down.

You bet, we should have a partnership on that. It`s not flush times,
but the fact of the matter is Mitt Romney would remove cops from the
streets, firefighters from the street, teachers from the classrooms. I
consider that dangerous.

DYSON: Yes, pretty much dangerous.

How much do you think -- go on, I`m sorry. I was going to ask you --
go on.

RYBAK: The thing that`s happened is in tough times mayors have to
make tough decisions. We`ve all had to cut back. There`s no doubt about
it. They`re -- you know 4,100 employees in Minneapolis when I took over
and sadly we have 3,700. We`ve all cut back and had to make tough choices.

DYSON: Sure.

RYBAK: What happened, however, the president stepped up and said,
look, in the tough times let`s help you hire back a firefighter whose job
was lost or put a teacher back in the classroom. That`s what so important.

And so, important to remember during the election. That Mitt Romney
can stand on his high horse and pretend what he wants done. The president
came into a crisis. He lifted out a hand to mayors who deliver services,
to cities across the country.

I`m down here at the mayor`s conference in Orlando. We all get that.

DYSON: Right.

RYBAK: Mitt Romney doesn`t. That`s why I don`t think he should be

DYSON: Let me ask you this. What`s at stake for him to make that
denial? Obviously there`s political capital to be derived from such an

So, you`re telling us that local governments depend to provide
teachers, firefighters, police officers support. His denial of it
obviously has some political advantage. What is it?

RYBAK: Well, I think Mitt Romney is trying to paint this picture he`s
a, quote/unquote, "job creator" who in the private sector created all these
jobs and government doesn`t create jobs.

There are two problems with that. Number one, he laid off a whole
boat load of people in the private sector. And, by the way, when he was in
Massachusetts, he did the same thing to the firefighters, the teachers and
the police officers.

So, what really matters if you like your cop, if you like your
firefighter, if you like your teacher, in tough times you have a president
who helped keep them on a job and a guy running for president in Mitt
Romney who`d take them off the job. Pretty clear choice to me.

DYSON: Right. No doubt.

R.T. Rybak, thank you so much, my friend.

RYBAK: Thanks.

Racial animus caused candidate Obama votes in 2008, even though he won
by a comfortable margin. It could be a factor in a much closer election.
That`s next.

And a former Rick Scott administration official is blowing the whistle
on Florida`s voter purge. He reveals the operation was mismanaged from the
start. We`ll have the latest. Stay tuned.


DYSON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Senator Barack Obama won the presidency with 53 percent of the vote, a
healthy 7 percentage points more than Senator John McCain. Mr. Obama won a
larger margin of the white vote than any Democratic presidential candidate
since Jimmy Carter.

But an analysis of Google searches shows race was a factor in the 2008
election, according to a "New York Times" article written by a doctoral
candidate in economics at Harvard University. The author Seth Stephens-
Davidowitz analyzes Google searches to determine where racial animus is
most heavily concentrated in the United States. He says the highest
searched rate showed up in west Virginia, western Pennsylvania, eastern
Ohio, Upstate New York, and southern Mississippi, for example.

The voter compared that to areas candidate Obama may have
underperformed in, the actual election and found a direct correlation. In
fact, he claims racial animus caused President Obama 3 percent to 5 percent
of the popular vote.

Let`s turn to Ari Melber, correspondent for "The Nation" and a good

Racial animus is not something easily detected in polls because
respondents try to hide it. But with Google, we`re revealing our true
selves or so the thinking goes. So, you know, people are caught unaware,
off guard and they`re revealing their true selves. Is there something to
that? Do you think there`s something to this study that reveals the true
inclinations of human beings when it comes to the issue of race?

ARI MELBER, THE NATION: Yes. I think what we see online, and what`s
so interesting about that data here is that the study looked at the
incidence of terms like the "N" word.

DYSON: Right.

MELBER: To see a word that turns out appears a lot more in Google
searches than out of their mouths in public. It appears about as
frequently as the word Laker or migraine, which are very common words that
might be Googled, particularly by sports fans.

So that gives you some context from the study. And the old saying in
the "New Yorker" cartoon was a dog surfing the web. And it says, "online,
no one knows you`re a dog." And no one would know if you`re a racist dog

So that`s something that we see from the study that is fascinating.
And this study shows that there is a correlation, which is not necessarily
causation, that in areas where people were searching these racially
derogatory terms, it seemed that then-Senator Obama was under performing as
compared to other areas.

DYSON: Sure. Well, there are a number of, you know, variables here.
That was an area of focus. There are other variables to be considered
here. So would you consider other variables in judging whether the
conclusions are correct? Are there other elements that play here that you
think, well, might mitigate against the conclusion, or at least make it a
little bit more complicated?

MELBER: I do. I think for starters, we have this electoral college
which is very undemocratic. So a huge effect on turnout and how people
vote is whether they think they`re in a very contested area. So we have a
lot of states that are less contested, and where you might see someone
under performing because there`s a sense that your vote didn`t matter.

DYSON: Right.

MELBER: Which might also correlate with the search materials and
other things. The other point is, if you look at what under performance
means in this study, what you basically have is a thesis that Obama would
have gotten more votes. As you said -- you hit the nail on the head in the
opening. You know, I worked on John Kerry`s campaign. Barack Obama got a
larger share of the white vote than John Kerry and than other previous
Democratic candidates.

So for all the talk, Barack Obama did do well among voters who happen
to be white. And the study says that there actually should have been
something more on the order of a 17-point margin for Obama.

DYSON: Right.

MELBER: Well, here the researchers -- the political scientists who
did this research may not be as good as our just plain old politics. I
don`t think most politicos think there would have been that. Reagan in his
re-election against Mondale,, which was a romp, got an 18-point margin. I
don`t think most people looked at John McCain as a candidate whose
formability was on par with Walter Mondale.

DYSON: And that kind of landslide. So the author is saying that
without racial animus, Obama Would have had 56 to 58 percent of the vote,
instead of 53 percent. You say that`s not credible. But he raises
question of whether racial animus might be less overall after four years of
the country being familiar with a black person.

Do you think that Obama`s presence instigated greater acceptance or,
in one sense, has instigated a greater backlash against --

MELBER: I think it`s backlash. I think there`s a really important
point here. Ed Schultz has talked about it on this show, and so have you,
which is there was a political benefit to John McCain and many of the
Republicans suppressing some of that energy for a general election audience
going into 2008. The language was -- there were exceptions, but it was
generally, I would argue, better than what we saw in 2009 and 2010, when
there were appeals to a narrower audience, a midterms audience and some
elements of the Tea Party.

I think part of the Tea Party is concerned about big government and is
not a racial component. In other parts, we`ve seen unfortunately have a
big racial component. So what we`ve seen is the shape of the electorate
has an incredible effect on the pressures that are brought to bear.

Now we`re back into a general electorate model. So I don`t think Mitt
Romney, for pure self-interest, wants to go down the same roads. That`s
the last point I would make. You can have racial problems without people
literally voting against you on race. The delegitimatization of this
president and policies that he has that have nothing to do with race, like
health care being turned into another element --

DYSON: And the erosion as his integrity as a human being.

MELBER: That`s an area where we`ve seen race play out. It may not
hurt him in the voting, but it has definitely constrained the way we talk
about his agenda and ultimately its ability to break through to the public.

DYSON: All right. Ari Melber, thank you so much, my friend.

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quit blaming the president from four years ago.


DYSON: The president taking his jobs plan to the people again. And
Republicans can`t stand it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody wants to hear him whining and complaining.


DYSON: The big panel takes on the Republican sabotage of the American
economy, next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve come up with 87 percent minorities. If
you`re going through this in a fair way, that`s happening.


DYSON: Rick Scott continues to embarrass himself on his failed voter


GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: The right way of doing it is the way
we`ve been trying to do it.


DYSON: And he was the mafia icon behind one of the great movies of
all time.


HENRY HILL, FORMER MAFIA MEMBER: As far back as I can remember, I
always wanted to be a gangster.


DYSON: Mafia foot soldier turned informant Henry Hill has died of
natural causes. We`ll take a look back tonight.


HILL: You got out of line, you got whacked. Everybody knew the



DYSON: Tomorrow, President Obama will make the case for another term
in order to undo the damage done by the Bush administration. "Reuters"
reports that Mr. Obama will argue that a Romney presidency will bring the
country back to the failed policies of President Bush. Romney surrogate
Tim Pawlenty was dispatched to attack President Obama`s approach.


including in his speech tomorrow, just goes back and blames President Bush.
It`s like the old Garth Brooks song, "Long Neck Bottle, Let Go of My Hand."
Quit blaming the president from four years ago.

He`s had the helm, the con, the control for four years. Nobody wants
to hear him whining and complaining about what somebody did or didn`t do
four, five years ago. He`s the president. We`re not going to re-elect him
because he got a participation ribbon. You actually have to do something.
He`s the participation ribbon president.


DYSON: I don`t know, it seems it`s the wrong country song. It could
be, you know, George Strait, "All the Exes Live in Texas." That`s why I
live in D.C. Let`s bring in MSNBC contributors Jimmy Williams and Krystal
Ball, and Guy Benson, political editor for "Townhall."

Pawlenty fails to mention Republican obstructionism, which seems to be
the point crying out here. Jimmy and then Krystal and the, of course, Guy,
how is this an effective argument for the right wing?

Pawlenty has made -- I don`t disagree with Governor Pawlenty. I don`t
think we should be running against George Bush. I think the country
already looks at George Bush`s presidency as pretty much a debacle. So
instead, let`s vilify the people that actually are the villains.

Let`s look at the Senate Republicans. Democrats take over the Senate.
I think we have a chart for this, right, from "Talking Points Memo."
Democrats take over the Senate and what happens? Filibusters jump in the
111th Congress, from in the 80s per Congress to 137. And the 112th
Congress, we`re already at 87.

Every single bill is being filibustered. The only thing they`re not
filibustering, Post Office namings. In the House, the president goes
before the Congress, calls them into session, sends up a jobs bill,
addresses the nation. They pass two pieces of a massive jobs bill. And
then people are sitting around going, where are the jobs?

I`ll tell you where the jobs are. They`re sitting in Congress; 535 of
them, of which half of them are Republicans. And they`re the only ones
that care about their own jobs. It`s kind of embarrassing.

DYSON: Right.

WILLIAMS: Stopping him at every step of the way.

DYSON: Krystal, do you think that`s an effective strategy, perhaps to
shift the way Jimmy Williams has suggested, from a focus on Bush to the
failed practice of present Republicans? That is more of a powerful target?

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I agree in a sense. I think
that is the right approach. And give the American people some credit, too.
You know, recent survey, recent focus group in Ohio and Pennsylvania found
that they, by in large, understood that a lot of the problems we`re facing
were because of the Bush administration. So we don`t necessarily have to
keep hammering that point.

But I think the president has been making the case that Congress has
been obstructionists, that they have failed to pass the American Jobs Act,
that they failed to act on the economy. And the American people I think
understand that as well. But we need to be more forceful in pushing that

You know, when the jobs number came out recently, that still showed
private sector jobs growth, but not anywhere near what we want or what we
need. That is not a reflection on the president`s policies. The president
hasn`t been able to pass anything for the past two years since the
Republican Congress was sworn in. That is really a judgment on the
Republican obstructionism, which unfortunately for the American people has
been successful in slowing growth.

DYSON: So Guy, that`s two for obstructionism. Are you going to make
it a trilogy here? I feel there`s not going to be a third vote here. Do
you agree that Republicans are intentionally sabotaging the economy?

GUY BENSON, TOWNHALL.COM: Well, there are two separate issues. I`d
be delighted to go back and debunk some of this obstructionism canard
language that we just heard. I want to go back to your original question,
which had to do with President Obama and this apparent new strategy to go
back and attack President Bush.

I think the irony here, at least from a messaging standpoint, is that
this president`s re-election slogan is one word: forward. And it looks
like he`s intent to look backwards in these recriminations and blame at the
previous president. So that`s the irony.

The more substantive problem I think he has is an interview he gave
with Matt Lauer in 2009, when he said, if we don`t get this done, meaning
we turn the economy around in the next 3.5 years, we`re looking at a one-
term proposition. And just today, his own White House press secretary said
this economy has not recovered.

So this is his own standard that he`s up against. I think looking
back to his predecessor and trying to assess blame and point the finger
totally contradicts his own slogan. And I don`t think the --

BALL: Guy, to your point, I think this election does very much turn
on the economy, as you well stated. But Republicans understand that, which
is why they have a great incentive to do everything they can to stand
between now and recovery. I know that you`re a free market guy and believe
in the power of incentives. Their incentives are very much in that

DYSON: Let me ask this question.

BENSON: I disagree.

DYSON: Guy, let me say this, though. Given what Jimmy and Krystal
have said and what you just said about the canards that you want to
demythologize or deconstruct, here`s the point, on the other hand you`ve
got -- are you going to actually deny that out of their own mouths, when
they have indicated that their very first, you know, if you will,
responsibility was to keep Obama from becoming a second termer, that
obstructionism is an easy assignment after that, because their goal is to
road block anything he does.

Out of their own mouths they`ve said that. How can you not
acknowledge that?

BENSON: Let`s address this point by point. And I think that, first
of all, I reject the entire premise. I think everyone -- virtually
everyone in this town, both parties, look at 25 million Americans out of
work, underemployed, or having given up looking for work. These people are

Paul Krugman this weekend called America`s current economic condition
a depression. Everyone in this town wants to help fix that.

DYSON: But we`re not talking about premises. We`re talking about
what they actually said. We only have a few seconds left. What about what
they said? They said our job is to keep him from becoming a second term

WILLIAMS: Mitch McConnell said that, the Senate Republican leader.

BALL: Newt Gingrich and others in their meeting on Inauguration Day.

BENSON: Right. Of course Republicans want to defeat a Democrat
president. Stunning, right?

WILLIAMS: What about the filibuster numbers, guy?

BENSON: I would be happy to answer these questions. There are two
problems with the obstructionism --

DYSON: There have been a record number of filibusters in this
particular contest. It`s not just about rhetoric.

BENSON: Can I finish?

DYSON: It`s about procedure --


WILLIAMS: the numbers are the numbers.

BENSON: Yeah, yeah, let me first of all point out that the Republican
party -- the Jobs Act that you guys talked about didn`t just die in the
Republican House. It died in the Democrat Senate, not because of a
filibuster. The Democrats were on record admitting that they did not have
a simple majority to pass this president`s Job Act in its entirety, even
though the Republicans did pass five elements of the president`s Jobs Act.

That`s point one. Point two, and this is so crucial --

DYSON: Got to hurry up.

BENSON: -- White House is pretending like the first half of this
presidency didn`t exist, when Democrats had full, huge majorities in both
houses to do anything they wanted. Republicans could not have sabotaged or
obstructed anything if they had wanted to and they didn`t. They passed

DYSON: We`re out of time. But we`ll reconvene this panel and get a
hat trick out of you somehow.

BENSON: Let`s do it.


DYSON: Thank you so very much.

A former Florida secretary of state reveals major flaws in the state`s
voter purge operation. We have the latest next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The detected voter fraud that you prosecute and
put people in jail for may be one number, but there`s a lot of voter fraud
out there you can never catch because it`s so easy to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So voter fraud statistics are limited only as much
as your imagination.


DYSON: Welcome back. That was "The Daily Show" taking aim at
Governor Rick Scott`s plan to purge 2,600 voters from Florida`s voting
rolls. It`s caused a lawsuit from the Department of Justice and bitter
fighting within the state.

Now in an interview with the "Miami Herald," former Florida Secretary
of State Kurt Browning reveals how mismanaged the plan was from the start.
He says the trouble began after Homeland Security denied Florida`s request
for its citizenship database. So the elections division compared its
database with the Department of Highway Safety to try and find non citizen

Browning knew cross referencing two huge databases would only compound
the errors within them. The list they ended up with consisted of 87
percent minority voters. How convenient for the governor. Browning said,
"I didn`t feel comfortable rolling this initiative out. Something was
telling me this isn`t going to fly. We didn`t have our I`s dotted and T`s
crossed when I was there."

He didn`t trust the list because his agency wasn`t doing the checking.
They left it up to the Highway Safety Department. He told the "Herald" "we
were not getting firsthand data. I wanted to make sure the data was good
if it went out under my name."

The information was never sent out under Browning`s name, but was sent
out in April after Ken Detzner took over his post. Rick Scott attempted to
justify the bogus data yesterday.


SCOTT: We did it based on the database we had from the motor vehicle.
We took 2,600 names. We did the process. First off, we know, based on
that, that we have people that have registered to vote that aren`t entitled
to. They`re non citizens. They voted. That impacts races. We can`t
allow that to happen.


DYSON: So now a former Scott administration official has blown the
whistle on their makeshift voter purge operation. Department of Justice
will almost certainly use this against them in their lawsuit. So now it`s
only a matter of time before Florida wises up and stops their purge, or
they are forced to by the Department of Justice.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you do you believe risky behavior by
Wall Street will drive us into another financial crisis? Ninety nine
percent say yes; one percent say no.

His life was the basis for the movie "Goodfellas." Now the New York
mobster turned FBI informant Henry Hill has died. We`ll take a look at the
life of a real life wise guy, next.



RAY LIOTTA, ACTOR: As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to
be a gangster.

To me, being a gangster was better than being president of the United

ROBERT DENIRO, ACTOR: Never rat on your friends. And always keep
your mouth shut.

LIOTTA: It meant being somebody in a neighborhood that was full of

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, mom, what do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You look like a gangster.


DYSON: He was a Brooklyn mobster turned FBI informant. The world got
to know Henry Hill through actor Ray Liotta`s portrayal of him in the movie





LIOTTA: I`m in construction.


DYSON: After a storied and troubled life, Henry Hill died after a
long illness at age 69. Hill wasn`t born into the mob, but fell in love
with the culture at an early age.


HILL: In my neighborhood where I came from in Brooklyn, these were
the guys with the silk suits and the diamond rings and beautiful women.

CHARLIE ROSE, PBS ANCHOR: And everybody else you knew, like your
father, were just getting up every morning and going to work?

HILL: Yeah, with the lunch pail. The whole block was like


DYSON: After becoming a high roller wise guy, and an associate of the
Lucchese crime family, Hill was arrested in 1980 for drug trafficking.
Fearing for his life, he agreed to cooperate with the feds. His testimony
led to 50 convictions. And Hill ended up in the Witness Protection

Hill was eventually knocked out of witness protection after committing
several crimes, but soon got to revel in the notoriety that Martin
Scorsese`s masterpiece "Goodfellas" gave him. Scorsese based "Goodfellas"
on the book "Wise Guy." Author Nick Pileggi documented Hill`s life in the
book. And Pileggi believed Henry Hill was an ideal but troubled subject.


NICK PILEGGI, AUTHOR: I just think it was very difficult for him, I
know, to go from the life of a gangster into the life of -- as he says in
the book, I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.


DYSON: Hill`s life ended in a Los Angeles hospital. His partner,
Lisa Caserta (ph), telling CBS News "Hill went out pretty peacefully for a
good fella."

I`m joined by Vito Colucci, private detective and former undercover
organized crime investigator. Thank you for coming on, my friend.


DYSON: Now, Hill was lionized for the life of crime he led. But
that`s not the whole story, is it? Did he do any good? Did he turn his
life around after al of the glamour and glory of the crime and the crime
life he led?

COLUCCI: Yes, he did, Michael. I had the pleasure the last few years
of speaking at panel discussions across the country with him and former FBI
guys, former Mob associates. He did a lot of good. I`ve been in his
company when he would tell young people that came up to him and said,
Henry, you`re my idol, I want to be just like you. He would really let
them have it and say, you don`t want to be like me. Live a good, clean
life. Stay away from organized crime.

Not only that, Michael, he traveled the country to police departments
and the FBI, teaching them the ins and outs of organized crime, how they
can monitor it better, how they could watch. He taught them a lot of
things. So I`m proud of the Henry Hill that I knew the last few years.

DYSON: No doubt. And there was a great deal to repent for, I
suppose, because he admitted he was obsessed with Mob culture at an early
age. Why do you think our culture in general, can I add myself, is
fascinated with these lives?

COLUCCI: I love watching the movies, myself. But, you know, it`s
glamorized. And Henry Hill is the first to tell you it`s a horrible life.
I worked undercover organized crime. I see what happens to people. Most
of them wind up dead or in jail for the rest of their lives.

It`s -- and young guys get caught up in that. They want to be just
like these guys. And hopefully more guys like a Henry Hill and myself will
tell these guys, it`s a dead end street, Mike.

DYSON: Sure. Look, by cutting a deal with the government, he saved
his own life. How valuable is that kind of testimony that he gave?

COLUCCI: It`s extremely valuable. He put 50 people in jail. He put
50 people away. Not only that -- see, what you need to understand, and the
viewers, he would have been killed anyway. So you have a choice of being
killed by your associates or working with the feds. And that`s what he
chose to do.

DYSON: Wow, 20 seconds left. He lived the rest of his life under his
own name. He sold paintings on eBay. Boy, is that Norman Rockwell of the
gangster life?

COLUCCI: Yeah, he enjoyed doing that. People would line up, believe
me. I was at many events. They lined up outside.

DYSON: All right, Vito Colucci, thank you so very much.

COLUCCI: Thank you.

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

EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Michael. How you doing?

DYSON: I`m doing fine, my friend. Good to see you.


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