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The Ed Show for Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

November 21, 2012

Guests: Elijah Cummings, Ruth Conniff, John Nichols, Tara Dowdell; Nina Turner; Baratunde Thurston, Bob Shrum

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

The Republican leader in the House is showing either stupidity or
arrogance or both.

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


deals struck behind closed doors, hidden from the people -- hell, no, you

SCHULTZ (voice-over): House Speaker John Boehner is flipping his lid
over Obamacare again. He has no leverage, but now, he wants the Affordable
Care Act on the table in fiscal cliff negotiations.

Congressman Elijah Cummings will respond.

Papa John`s plays politics with pizza and the people fight back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no, no.

SCHULTZ: We`ll tell you about the pizza maker`s face-saving move.

And Republicans never rest. Ohio Senator Nina Turner on the latest
effort to block the vote in 2016?

And political comedian Baratunde Thurston on how to talk to this guy
at Thanksgiving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want my country back, country back, country


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

Someone needs to sit down with the Republicans and explain to them how
negotiations work. When you have no leverage, you don`t get to make
outlandish statements and demands.

House Speaker John Boehner recently called himself the most reasonable
man in Washington, but in an editorial for the "Cincinnati Enquirer" today,
Boehner took the very unreasonable position of including Obamacare in debt

"The president`s health care law adds a massive, expensive, unworkable
government program at a time when our national debt already exceeds the
size of our country`s entire economy. We can`t afford pinpoint and we
can`t afford to leave it intact. That`s why I`ve been clear that the law
has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation`s
massive debt challenge."

Mr. Boehner, this is not what the election was all about.

John Boehner, if he is serious, will have to find out, but he
certainly isn`t very smart.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates, they show that the
Affordable Care Act will actually reduce the deficit. It doesn`t make a
lot of sense to get rid of a deficit reduction program, as part of a
deficit reduction deal.

The White House already rejected Boehner`s idea. Obamacare will not
be part of debt negotiations. Boehner is up to something here, don`t you
think? Something else, that is.

If you watch John Boehner closely over the last two weeks, you can see
him laying the groundwork for the latest ploy. He called Obamacare the law
of the land, but also tried to link it to Obamacare and the budget.


DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: You had said, next year, that you would
repeal the health care vote. That`s still your mission?

BOEHNER: Well, I think the election changes that. It`s pretty clear
that the president was re-elected. Obamacare is the law of the land. I
think there are parts of the health care law that are going to be very
difficult to implement and very expensive.

And at a time where we`re trying to find a way to create a path toward
a balanced budget, everything has to be on the table.

SAWYER: But you won`t be spending the time next year, trying to
repeal Obamacare?

BOEHNER: There are certainly may be parts of it that we believe need
to be changed. We may do that. No decisions at this point.


SCHULTZ: Boehner backed up this quote with a tweet to the Tea Party
fanatics in his caucus. "Obamacare is the law of the land. But it is
rising costs and threatening our goals. Our goal has been and will remain
-- full repeal."

It looks like John Boehner is trying to do two things here. He`s
keeping Tea Partiers on the side by taking a hard line on Obamacare. He`s
also trying to muddy the negotiations by putting Obamacare on the table.

None of this is likely to help both sides reach a deal.

Enter -- here comes Senator Lamar Alexander, who once said Obamacare
would be the end of the Democratic Party.


SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R), TENNESSEE: I think it`s a political
kamikaze mission for the Democrats to insist on this.


SCHULTZ: Obamacare passed and it did not kill off the Democratic

There`s no reason to listen to these guys. So it`s hard to understand
why Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado is teaming up with Lamar
Alexander to do anything. They`ve introduced a plan to put off the fiscal
cliff deadline.

According to Senator Alexander, the plan simply pushes the pause
button on all elements of the fiscal cliff, extends everything for a year,
and then gives us six months in which to reform entitlements and reform
taxes and reduce the debt.

Are you kidding me? Push the pause button? We already pushed the
pause button in 2011.

These representatives were sent back to Washington to get something
done now. In fact, pushing the pause button could destroy America`s credit
rating and further harm the economy.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody`s Analytics says, "If we can kick
the can, at some point, Moody`s is going to downgrade. You`re going to
create more instability in the financial markets."

Zandi said it would be better to do nothing than to create an

Republicans and some centrist Democrats are definitely not getting the
message. When the president won re-election, he said his number one
priority is to reach an economic deal by reaching across both sides of the


I`m not wedded to every detail of my plan. I`m open to compromise. I`m
open to new ideas.

I`m committed to solving our fiscal challenges. But I refuse to
accept any approach that isn`t balanced.


SCHULTZ: Republicans and some Democrats stop listening right there.
If you let the president just continue, you`re going to hear the key point
of these negotiations.


OBAMA: I refuse to accept any approach that isn`t balanced. I am not
going to ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the
entire deficit while people like me making over $250,000 aren`t asked to
pay a dime more in taxes. I`m not going to do that.


SCHULTZ: Bottom line, taxes are going up on the top 2 percent of
Americans. The rest of the country is not going to bear the full burden of
this deal.

The president said it, Nancy Pelosi said it, the voters voted for it.
They said it. What part of this does John Boehner simply not understand?

The president is willing to reach a compromise with you, Mr. Boehner,
but not on taxes for the wealthy.

The Republicans already lost this fight. I hope Speaker Boehner takes
this message to heart over this Thanksgiving dinner. He can grandstand by
talking about Obamacare, or he can get down to the brass tacks and tell his
party fanatic that they are going to have to budge on tax hikes.

Think about it over your turkey and stuffing, Speaker Boehner. And by
the way, you can put some gravy on that, and you know the rest of the

Let`s bring in Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland. He`s with us
tonight here on THE ED SHOW.

Congressman, good to have you with us.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: It`s good to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: I think -- I think we have gotten so many mixed messages
about John Boehner and what he`s doing. What do you think he`s doing at
this point? Where does this come from? All of a sudden, he wants
Obamacare on the table.

CUMMINGS: I believe that he`s trying to muddy the waters with regard
to these fiscal negotiations. Clearly, the Tea Party lost in this
election. No doubt about it. The people have spoken.

And with regard to the Affordable Care Act, Ed, the Supreme Court, and
a conservative court at that, has already put their stamp of approval on
it. We need to move on.

And Boehner just does not want to, apparently, accept that. And I
think he is trying to send a message to the Tea Party that, you know, he`s
going to -- he`s got something here that he wants to continue to fight

But we need to let this go. Keep in mind, Ed, we voted on this
repealing of the act some 30-some times already. And the American people
clearly want it intact.

And you know what? We got to go back to why the Affordable Care Act
was put in place. I mean, it is a system -- our present system is not
working. And now, the American people, my constituents, simply want us to
get stuff done. And you cannot get it done, Ed, by constantly going back
and trying to do away with laws that have already been enacted.

SCHULTZ: Are the Republicans just testing the resolve of the
Democrats --

CUMMINGS: I think so. I think so. I think so. And we`ve got to
stand up.

And I`m hoping that the president, as he moves around, will go to the
various districts and remind people and inform them of how important these
negotiations is and how important it is that we have a fair and a very
balanced kind of approach here, and that there must be revenues. That tax
rates must go up.

And I think we have to be very careful with regard to entitlements.
Because, Ed, you know, a lot of people don`t realize it, but, we`re in a
situation where a lot of people don`t have jobs. A lot of younger people
are not getting jobs for a while. And so, what is going to happen with
regards to something like, for example, Social Security, is that that`s
going to affect them at the point that they do retire.

In other words, the benefits will be less. So, with regard to
Medicare, there are easy ways to address that. And we need to deal with
those two matters. And I know we will.

But, again, putting this on the table? No, can`t do it.

SCHULTZ: Well, this is going to call out the Democrats, no question
about it.

CUMMINGS: No doubt about it.

SCHULTZ: And it`s going to test the resolve --

CUMMINGS: And we`ve got to stand up --

SCHULTZ: And it`s going to test the resolve of the Democrats.

CUMMINGS: And we`ve got to stand up and be Democrats.

The people have said to us: please, stop the bickering, go out there
and stand up for the middle class. That`s what all the polling shows.
That`s what the election showed.

And I`m hoping that Mr. Boehner, Speaker Boehner will join us and say
to the Tea Partiers, look, you know, we`ve got to move on. The country
cannot be stagnant.


CUMMINGS: Standing in one place. You can`t do it.

SCHULTZ: Well, Congressman, what about moving on with the likelihood
of a kick the can down the road type of deal, where there would be some
kind of temporary extension. Do you think Democrats would fall prey to

CUMMINGS: I hope not. I want us to get a deal done. But I can tell
you that a bad deal is -- I`d rather have no deal than a bad deal.

And so, I don`t know exactly how -- I mean, if the Republicans keep
playing these games, we may very well go into 2013. But I`m hoping that
we`ll be able to resolve it, because Zandi is absolutely right. The more
we show that we can`t get things done in Washington, that means borrowing
becomes even more expensive, Ed. And that means that our fiscal problems
get even worse.

And you said it a moment ago, going back to the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act reduces the deficit. So the question is: what
games are being played?

And, basically, what I`m saying to the speaker is, please don`t play
games. Exercise the leadership that I know you`re capable of. And stand
up and let folks know that we`ve got to move forward.

SCHULTZ: OK. Congressman Elijah Cummings, great to have you with us

CUMMINGS: Good to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Appreciate your time here on THE ED SHOW.

We have an update on our report on debt negotiations from last night.
We told you about a "Bloomberg News" report on seven Democratic senators
from solidly red states who were up for re-election in 2014. The report
identified these senators as possible defectors from the party`s position
on taxes.

THE ED SHOW was contacted by Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia
today and his office issued this statement. They are saying, "As deficit
reduction talks continue, I`m squarely focused on making sure the middle
class and the most vulnerable aren`t left to shoulder the burden, and that
the very wealthy pay their fair share."

Coming up, Papa John`s CEO changes his tune on Obamacare after a
public backlash. John Nichols and Ruth Conniff will join me on that.

Stay with us. You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.


SCHULTZ: Coming up next, corporate leaders are risking their bottom
line by choosing to get political about Obamacare. John Nichols and Ruth
Conniff join me.

Lindsey Graham`s response to criticism to his attacks on Susan Rice,
but Republicans still have some explaining to do. Bob Shrum and Tara
Dowdell join me on that.

And Ohio secretary of state is hatching a new scheme to rig future
elections for Republicans. Nina Turner, state senator from Ohio, will join

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re coming right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Today, two big food chains actually changed their tune on Obamacare.
The CEO of Papa John`s now says that he will go along with the Affordable
Care Act without punishing employees or customers and a major Denny`s
franchisee has backtracked on imposing an Obamacare surcharge. The change
came after a public backlash.

The biggest about-face came from Papa John`s CEO, John Schnatter, who
said his previous comments were misunderstood. "The fact is that we are
going to open hundreds of stores this year and next and increase employment
by over 5,000 jobs worldwide. And we have no plans to cut team hours as a
result of the Obamacare act.

Papa John`s, like most businesses, is still researching what the
Affordable Care Act means to our operations. We will honor this law, as we
do all laws, and continue to offer 100 percent of Papa John`s corporate
employees and workers in company-owned stores health insurance as we have
since the company was founded in 1984."

The owner of 40 Denny`s franchises, John Metz, completely reversed
himself on a plan to add a 5 percent Obama surcharge. Businesses at
Denny`s restaurants in Florida dropped overnight, after his comments got
widespread attention, according to the "Huffington Post."

Denny`s corporate CEO has expressed disappointment with Mr. Metz and
said it wasn`t the company`s position.

What happened here is that these corporate leaders were living the
Republican lie. They were buying into fear-mongering about the economy and
the effects of the Affordable Care Act. Once President Obama won a
resounding re-election victory, they stuck to the Republican script, but
they saw they could potentially take a financial hit by making these

It`s not worth the risk to the bottom line to be so political. Didn`t
the CEO of Papa John`s realize that maybe Democrats eat pizza as well?

Joining me tonight, the political editor of the "Progressive
Magazine", Ruth Conniff, and the Washington correspondent of "The Nation"
magazine, John Nichols.

Great to have both of you with us.

John, aren`t these businesses, these leaders, figuring out they`re
going to take a hit to the bottom line, when you choose to be political
like this, over their business that really has nothing to do with the
politics. What do you think?

JOHN NICHOLS, THE NATION: Sure. It`s one of the first lessons in
business school. Stay out of politics, as regard to your marketing. They
can certainly give contributions and they often do.

But I really think what happened with the folks at Papa John`s and
this Denny`s franchise was that they just fell behind the pattern here.
The Affordable Care Act has been tested legislatively, judicially, and now,
politically. It has passed every test.

And the American people themselves have gone through a transition.
They have come to understand that this is going to be the law of the land.
They`ve come to know it better, to like it better.

And these CEOs, I think, as you suggest, they got caught in the
Republican lie. They got caught in the campaign rhetoric. And it really
tripped them up. It put them a bad place. That`s why you see them doing
something CEOs don`t do very often, which is completely abandoning their
position, and saying, never mind.

SCHULTZ: Both Papa John`s CEO and Denny`s franchise seem to leave
themselves plenty of wiggle room here, particularly on the hours of
franchise employees. Is this a P.R. stunt to save face, or is there
substance behind this, Ruth?

But, you know, since 2006, we`ve seen more and more part-time workers,
particularly in these kinds of big chains.

So a lot of CEOs know that they can save money by not allowing people
to work full-time and qualified for benefits. And that is part of the game
that`s being played in the labor market, where people are willing to take a
bunch of different part-time jobs and work with no benefits.

My personal favorite response to this whole fiasco was here in
Madison, Wisconsin, Ian`s Pizza, which owns four little restaurants
locally, became world famous for giving out free pizza slices to protesters
at our capital against Scott Walker, the protest against Scott Walker.

He said, look, I`ve been giving my employees benefits for nine years,
since my restaurant opened. We do full-time work, we treat our employees
like family, we can afford it, and so can these big chains. And, frankly,
I welcome it if they want to raise their prices because who wants to
compete to be the world`s worst employer?

I think that message, in the sense that some sense of humanity, some
sense of business. Republicans love to talk about small business. Well,
real small businesses like Ian`s, who treat their employees well and
actually give them benefits and people are there for a while, and don`t
treat them as disposable, these folks are on the side of Obamacare. And I
think that`s a real lesson for people who think, like the Republicans
think, that they should just be able to squeeze people as hard as they can.

SCHULTZ: And Papa John`s CEO also said, "And this way I can get -- I
can provide health insurance and I`m not at a competitive disadvantage.
Our competitors are going to have to do the same thing."

Why wouldn`t they embrace it from the start and work with the
legislation? This is where, I think, they really made the mistake, John.
And now they`ve got this big P.R. problem on their hands.

What`s the best way to correct it? Give out more free pizza?

NICHOLS: Well, of course. You know, maybe they can come up with a
pizza with turkey for tomorrow.

But the bottom line is this -- the Affordable Care Act is going to be
terrific for small business owners and also a lot of bigger business
owners. It is a way to rationalize the delivery of health care in the
United States and to make sure that it`s quality care and affordable care.

The madness of some of these CEOs, who have tried to separate
themselves out and be these militant opponents of health care reform, is
that they provide a service in a community. They provide food. And you
don`t want your workers to be sick on the job. You don`t want people who
you`ve reduced to part-time employment, who can`t get health care, then
coming in and preparing food.

The bottom line is, we have the potential for a healthier, more
functional society. As Ruth says, there`s firms like Ian`s, and a lot of
bigger restaurateurs who get that this is to the good. And in a way, this
is sort of like the dead-enders, the last holdouts who are trying to oppose
something that, frankly, in very short order, is going to be very, very
popular -- in the same way that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are
very, very popular.

SCHULTZ: And I guess, Ruth, this might just be a big message to a lot
of small business owners out there. When you jump in the lake, you`re
going to get wet. I mean, there was one Denny`s owner down in Florida that
says that he was getting phone calls and he didn`t have anything to do with
it. There was a backlash on that.

So this is going to make the public response make corporate leaders, I
think, think twice about their political outbursts. There`s a difference
between going local and keeping it local. But when you go national like
that, there`s going to be a downside. Don`t you think?

CONNIFF: I think, absolutely. I mean, the latest polls show that the
number of people in this country who want to repeal Obamacare, which was
the big Republican talking point in this election, is only about 33
percent, which is the lowest it`s been. As people see it, they like it

And people jut have more humane values than the Republicans. And they
are, in so many ways, having to come to grips with what Americans really
think about having a strong middle class, about putting back into your
community, about treating people decently, and not just maximizing profits
for the very, very rich. It`s a big wake-up call.

SCHULTZ: Ruth Conniff and John Nichols, great to have you with us on
THE ED SHOW tonight. Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks so much.

Coming up, John McCain and Lindsey Graham`s Libya conspiracy theories
have been proven wrong every step of the way and they`re not giving up.
Bob Shrum and Tara Dowdell will try to straighten their points out when we
come back on this crazy witch hunt.

And later, the 2012 election is over, which means some Republicans are
already looking for ways to block the vote in 2016. State Senator Nina
Turner of Ohio joins know talk about Jon Husted`s latest scheme.

Stay tuned.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.

The witch hunt against U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is falling apart.
And now, Republicans are getting desperate. Senators John McCain and
Lindsey Graham have been accusing the Obama administration of changing
Susan Rice`s talking points, following the Benghazi incident.

They claim links to al Qaeda were left out for political purposes.
But on Tuesday, their conspiracy theory was blown out of the water. The
spokeswoman for the director of national intelligence told CNN the White
House wasn`t involved in removing the information on al Qaeda. He said the
intelligence community made the changes.

In responding to this report, McCain admitted that he was wrong, but
still took a shot at the White House. He said intelligence officials,
quote, "told us they did not know who made the changes. Now we have to
read the answers to our questions in the media. This latest episode is
another reason why many of us are so suspicious of actions of this
administration when it comes to the Benghazi attack."

Meanwhile, his sidekick, Lindsey Graham, is going into full attack
mode. Senator Graham wrote a letter to President Obama on Tuesday, saying
that he`s concerned. Many questions remain unanswered on the Benghazi
attacks. He said the president has a duty to the American people to answer
the basic questions surrounding the Benghazi attack.

So far, all of the right-wing conspiracy theories about the Benghazi
attack have been completely wrong. It`s about time they dropped all of
this nonsense and just went back to doing their jobs.

Let`s bring in Democratic consultant, Tara Dowdell, and also with us
tonight, "Daily Beast" contributor and political strategist, Bob Shrum.

Great to have both of you with us.

Bob, you first. I found Senator Graham`s letter rather interesting.
He implied that the Obama administration is not assisting Congress in the
Libya investigation. Have they been stonewalling in any way? What do you

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: No, I don`t think they`ve been
stonewalling at all. Look, John McCain is a bitter man who`s never gotten
over 2008 and attacks the president on almost anything. And Lindsey Graham
is his mini me.

What`s going on here is that they had a theory, a conspiracy theory
about Libya. Mitt Romney tried to elaborate it in the second debate. He
got slapped down. He couldn`t even talk about it in the third debate. The
more we learn about this, the more we learn that this was a very standard
procedure in terms of reaction. You put out there what you can put out
there. You don`t put out there things that would reveal sources and
methods of intelligence or minimize the chances that you would catch

One of the things that`s most disturbing about this, Ed, is once
again, you have the Republicans going after an African-American. We saw it
with Eric Holder, we`re seeing it with Susan Rice. It`s the same old
politics they`ve played since 1968 in the southern strategy and it`s not
about national security, it`s about politics.

SCHULTZ: Well, let`s throw in Shirley Sherrod`s name, and also, you
know, there have been a number of others out there as well.

Tara, are McCain and Graham not giving up on Libya because they`re
afraid of getting primaried (ph)? Are they trying to go hard right to keep
people away from them?

TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think this absolutely
has 100 percent to do with politics. And like you said earlier, Ed, it is
a political witch hunt. Lindsey Graham is definitely probable going to
face a primary challenge. So he`s trying to burnish his conservative

And also, I want to add that this was never about Susan Rice. This is
100 percent about President Barack Obama. This is an attack on him. They
weren`t able to get him during this campaign. They threw everything at
him, including the kitchen sink. And he still came out victorious. His
approval ratings are going up. And like Jim DeMint said, he said he wanted
to break President Obama. I believe this to be part of an ongoing strategy
to try to do that.

SCHULTZ: A number of people have said that these attacks on Susan
Rice are racially motivated. Senator Graham responded to this earlier
today. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: They say that you and John McCain are
sexist and racist as well for criticizing Ambassador Rice.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, when you can`t answer
the question, you attack the questioner. The only color I`m worried about
when it comes to Benghazi is red, blood red. The death of four Americans.


SCHULTZ: Bob, what about that? What`s your response, to the way
Graham is handling that?

SHRUM: Yes. First of all, they have answered all the questions. All
you have to do is listen to Dianne Feinstein, the responsible people who
have gone to these hearings. You know, John McCain didn`t even bother to
go to a briefing to he could hold a news conference complaining about this.

But Mitt Romney through the campaign denied that the welfare attack
was racist. John Sununu denied that he was being racist, when he said that
Colin Powell had only endorsed the president because of race. You know,
these Republicans, since the campaign, have said they`re going to rethink
who they are and where they`re going to go.

Well, a Republican party whose future is its own race baiting past has
no future in America. Not only with African-Americans, but with Latinos,
with Asian Americans, and frankly, with the mainstream of America. These
guys ought to focus on the problems that this country faces right now in
terms of the fiscal cliff, in terms of the Middle East, and not try, and I
think it`s exactly right to say this, not try to drag the president, not
just Susan Rice, but the president through the mud again. It failed in the
campaign. It won`t work now.

SCHULTZ: And where does Susan Rice go are from here? Does this hurt
her position of possibly being nominated, Tara, for secretary of state? I
mean, is she damaged goods, politically, so to speak?

DOWDELL: Well, obviously, this doesn`t help Susan Rice. And I think
that that`s really sad, that a woman with her credentials and her
qualifications is having her name dragged through the mud over a political
fight based on them wanting to attack the president.

I do think the president will stand strong and if he wants to appoint
her to something, I think he`s going to stand strong. I think it`s
important for Democrats to expose what`s really going on here and to
continue to expose it, so people know that this is not about Benghazi and
the fact that people did die and there should be justice served. But this
is raw, pure politics.

And that`s why I think that`s why we have to continue to speak out and
continue to highlight the hypocrisy here, especially on the part of John
McCain and Lindsey Graham, who went Condoleezza Rice got bad intelligence,
they rushed to her defense, and said, don`t rush to judgment on this. And
now all of a sudden they want to rush to judgment without hearing any of
the facts. And the bottom line here is that she wasn`t even responsible
for the security of that embassy.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Tara Dowdell, great to have you with us. Bob Shrum,
from always, appreciate your time tonight.

SHRUM: Happy turkey day.

SCHULTZ: Thanks so much. That`s exactly what it`s going to be. That
and a lot of football. There`s a lot more coming up in the next half hour
of "the Ed Show." Stay with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a lot easier to vote in Ohio than it is in
most states.

SCHULTZ: The Republican effort to block the vote in 2012 was a
complete failure, so they`re getting a leg up on 2016 with some new tricks.
Ohio state senator Nina Turner weighs in text.

Tom Turkey won`t be the only thing full of stuffing tomorrow.
Comedian Barratunde Thurston will tell us how to talk to right-wing
relatives over the turkey.

And the winningest (ph) coach in college football history is hanging
it up. We`ll bring you the heart-warming story of St. John`s coach, John
Gade Leagery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hard for me to believe, and grateful that I could
make a living and raise a family in a game.


SCHULTZ: And we are back.

The election was just two weeks ago, but Republicans are already
looking for new ways to suppress the vote in 2016. We don`t even get a

One of 2012`s voter suppression experts, Ohio secretary of state, John
Husted, is taking the lead in floating the idea of rigging the Electoral
College vote. It`s the same scheme Governor Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania
has tried. Instead of all the current winner-take-all system, which handed
President Obama Ohio`s 18 electoral votes, Husted`s plan would divide
electoral votes by congressional district. Ohio political blog,
blunderblund points out, under Husted`s plan, 12 of Ohio`s 18 electoral
votes would have been handed to Mitt Romney, the popular vote loser.
Husted put it this way.


JON HUSTED, SECRETARY OF STATE, OHIO: It will not be a winner take
all state, and you would not have another elections controversy about Ohio,
because we wouldn`t matter as much anymore.


SCHULTZ: Any elections controversy in Ohio was a product of John
Husted and the GOP`s attempt to suppress the vote. Ohio, I certainly hope
you`re listening to this. I know we just got through an election, but
they`re back at it again. Because, you see, the man managing your election
is looking for new ways to make your vote not matter the next time around.

Joining us tonight, Ohio state senator, Nina Turner.

Senator, good to have you with us on this. I`ll tell you what, these
Republicans just won`t back down at all. What is Husted up to? What is
happening here?

NINA TURNER (D), STATE SENATOR, OHIO: I mean, if at first you don`t
succeed, try, try, try again to suppress the vote. The secretary of state
is in full effect in the dirty, rotten, tricks department. You know, it
makes no sense, and I agree with you, and I hope that Ohioans are
listening. Anytime you have an elected official say that he or she, but he
in this case, does not want his state to be relevant in the next election,
what an insult to the voters of this state.

But I`m going to tell you something. Evil never sleeps, so good can
never take a vacation. And the Democrats are going to continue to fight
for the rights of all folks to vote in this state, as we have been.

SCHULTZ: How would dividing the electoral votes by district hand the
state of Ohio to Republicans?

TURNER: Well, you know they gerrymandered the map, Ed, and
(INAUDIBLE), we have one of the worst maps of any state in the United
States right now. That means that 12 of those votes -- 12 of those
Electoral College votes would have gone to Mitt Romney, Governor Romney,
although the president won the popular vote. It is because they rigged the
-- they gerrymandered the entire map here in the state of Ohio. So
although our president won the state of Ohio, 75 percent of our
congressional seats went to Republicans.

SCHULTZ: So Husted is coming up with a plan, that is going to break
it up into districts, that it would actually make it easier, because of
their gerrymandering, it would make it easier for a Republican, nationally,
to take the state of Ohio. How does he get this through? Where`s John
Kasich on this, and what has to happen for this to turn out the way Husted
wants it?

TURNER: Well again, Ed, we have not heard anything from the
government on this issue, but I tell you this. The Democrats in this state
and other civic-minded groups, we`re not going to sit idly by and let the
secretary of state try to do this.

The general assembly needs to step up to the plate in this state and
they need to set aside, and I`m talking about the GOP members of the
general assembly, their party affiliation when it comes to voting. Voting
is a matter of allowing the folks in the state of Ohio to vote freely, no
matter who they choose to vote for. And it shouldn`t be based on party

And the fact that you have a secretary of state trying to rig the
election only for a Republican is a sad state of affairs. But the general
assembly needs to step up, Ed, and I will be there to push the envelope on
that, you can bet that.

SCHULTZ: Seems to me like the national party has got their myths on
this. Or is Husted smart enough to come up with this plan? I mean, it
would seem to me that the national Republicans are sitting there saying, we
can`t win the White House unless we have Ohio. OK, we have to come up with
a plan where we can make sure we can divide this stuff up, so the
Republicans will have a better chance of winning it.

TURNER: Well, they tried. They tried in 2012 and it didn`t work
because Democrats stood up, and we`ll keep standing up and fighting. So,
whether it`s the national Republican Party or the state party here in the
state of Ohio, we`re getting ready for them and we`re not going to stand

SCHULTZ: All right. Great to have you with us. Ohio state senator,
Nina Turner. Thank you for your time tonight.

And a quick update on a story that we`ve been following. Mediation
talks between Hostess and their workers` union have failed. Today, a
federal judge approved a plan for Hostess to wind down operations and the
company will start to liquidate, selling off its assets. This means that
15,000 Hostess workers will face immediate layoffs and within another
additional 3,000 layoffs after they wind down and liquidate the assets.
Investors have expressed interest in buying the Twinkie brand name.
Twinkie will survive Hostess` bad business practices, but the employees
will be out of luck, right before the holidays. I can`t believe that
management at Hostess is going to be getting a bonus while all of these
employees are going to be getting a pink slip.

One of the greatest college football coaches in history is retiring.
Tonight, I`ll tell you why his unconventional coaching style helped him win
big. Stay tuned. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "the Ed Show." Today on facebook and
twitter we asked our fans to tell us what they`re thankful for this year.

Sandra says she`s thankful her husband is home from war and our
country is being led by a capable, experienced leader.

Dave Parkinson is thankful for his great family and a re-elected
president whose agenda is focused on growing and protecting the middle

And Nick Sones is thankful that he will never be without health
insurance due to a pre-existing condition.

Keep sharing your thoughts with us on facebook and twitter using

Up next, how to talk to your conservative family members and relatives
on thanksgiving, seeing that we got the big win. We`re right back. Stay
with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "the Ed Show." Tomorrow we celebrate and
enjoy two great American traditions. We gather with friends and family to
eat thanksgiving dinner, and to watch a whole heck of a lot of football,

There are thousands of people around the country thankful for this
man, John Gagliardi. Gagliardi is the winningest college football coach in
America. This week, the 86-year-old Gagliardi announced his retirement
from St. John`s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. After 64 years of
college coach welcome and 60 of those seasons as the head coach with St.
John`s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. This gentleman, and he is a
true gentleman, will leave the game with 489 wins.

It`s a little-known fact. But Gagliardi has more wins than Bobby
Baldwin and Joe Paterno. Gagliardi was known for a, you know, winning in a
very unconventional coaching style and unconventional method. It is often
called winning with nos.

There was no tackling and practice, that is why no contact, no hitting
blocking sleds, no mandatory weight training, no practices lasted longer
than 90 minutes. And very interesting, he never used the whistle. No
whistle at practice. And oddly enough, there was no calling him, coach.

John Gagliardi insisted that everybody on the field just call him,
John. He truly cared about everyone of his players in and off the field.
Gagliardi`s outstanding character prompted the White House to release a
statement this week. It reads, "Gagliardi`s genuine concern for players as
scholar athletes and human beings will ensure that his influence will be
felt for years to come." Hear, hear. Gagliardi already proved that bigger
was not always better. Division III St. John`s has produced the best coach
ever, and he has the numbers to prove it.

Coming up, talking turkey with one of the most challenging relatives.
Find out what to say to old Uncle Fred. You know how that conservative
Uncle Fred is. He likes to lip off at holidays about what`s wrong with the
liberals and everything else. Well, we have got some tips on how to deal
with him next. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: And in tonight`s "Big Finish", now, think about the. The
political tension at the dinner table might have a little different vibe to
it with your family tomorrow. But be cool, be cool. You can smile,
because President Obama won re-election. There`s no recount, there`s no
real question about the results. It`s a done deal. You can say that in
your mind, in your heart. I mean, still, this election, you know, just
hasn`t settled in with a lot of the conservatives out there and some of
those family members might be a little unsettled. "Saturday Night Live"
offers some advice from a guy they call the drunk uncle.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here with his advice on how to manage the
holidays, please welcome, drunk uncle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Occupy Lame Street. I mean, you know, kids, they
need to pull up their pants, Seth. Kids today, kids today, they`re always
saying, text me, text me, text me, text me. Why don`t you write a letter,
you dummy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A letter to who?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can`t even say merry Christmas anymore. You
got to say, hey, baby Jesus, you want to do Pilates?


SCHULTZ: All right, it`s funny, but not exactly helpful. Your Uncle
Fred might still be a little bit angry about the election. Tonight, we`ve
got some tips for responding to some of the political topics which could
come up during dinner.

Let`s bring in the founder of, Baratunde Thurston.
He`s also the author of "how to be black."

Mr. Thurston, thanks for joining us tonight. I want to start with
this, the traditional America. What do you do if Uncle Fred starts talking
like this guy right here. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The demographics are changing. It`s not a
traditional America anymore. And there are 50 percent of the voting public
who want stuff, they want things. And who is going to give them things?
President Obama.


SCHULTZ: What about that? How do they handle that at the table?

Yes, so, first of all, thanks for having me on, Ed. Happy
thanksgiving to you, to all the viewers.

compassionately. This is a tough time for Uncle Fred. He`s angry, he`s
lashing out. Give him a big hug. You just tell him you love them, tell
him it`s going to be OK, and tell him you`ve been there before, because
when John Kerry lost, you felt a similar silence of disappointment in the
country and just (INAUDIBLE) family member to family member, know that you
are there with him.

As far as the stuff thing, I thought he can flip it. I would say 100
percent of American who is want stuff because what it means to be an
American. In fact, if you meet someone who`s say they are America who
doesn`t want stuff, then you get suspicious. You see something, you say
something. If you don`t want stuff, you hate America. It`s the stuff-
buying season.

SCHULTZ: Yes. What if Aunt Hilda claims the president`s re-election
has triggered the zombie apocalypse. She might sound like this guy. Here
it is.


THURSTON: There`s more flexibility now and they remember their
enemies. Inflation is coming. The fiscal cliff is coming. The dollar
fell last night on the news. Your taxes are going up, your health care
costs are going up, your religion is going to come under attack. Gas,
coal, and energy is going to become more expensive. May I highly suggest
you get grandfathered in to the second amendment today.


SCHULTZ: How do you handle that kind of talk?

THURSTON: First of all, if your aunt`s name really is Hilda, you got
to be extra compassionate toward her, because she`s had a rough life,
because her name is Hilda, and that`s just, you know, even if she had a
great life, she had to deal with some things that most of us never have to
go through. So empathize with her.

If she`s listening to Glenn Beck, that`s amazing. I didn`t know he
was still out there talking. I haven`t heard for him in quite some time.
It`s been good. If she`s worried about the zombie apocalypse, I think you
could actually prime her a little bit for it, show her some "walking dead,"
show her some "28 days," later maybe some "resident evil," and said look,
this has come long before Obama`s time. We have been having these tough
situations we`ve had to deal with. If she insist then, she may have a

When the zombie apocalypse does come, it`s going to be because of
sciences in the lab somewhere, and this is where we have to be careful on
the liberal side. Actually President Obama is a much more pro-science,
allowing scientists to make decisions and follow through on them. So we
might have a zombie apocalypse on our shoulders in the future, but not this
holiday season. I don`t think they quite there yet.

SCHULTZ: All right, Baratunde Thurston, thank you so much. And I
thank so much. I think a smile at the dinner table is probably the most
disarming thing. And we liberals can take heart that we did win the
election after working awfully, awfully hard.

We have a lot as a country and as a family to be thankful for this
thanksgiving. I hope all of you remember our troops who are separated from
their families who are all over the world, doing what they are doing in
uniform for the United States of America.

And of course, this has been certainly a very different year for our
family with the illness of my wife, who is recovering from cancer and we`re
not very far away from finishing those chemotherapy treatments and so we`re
going to have a real good thanksgiving.

That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Ed Schultz. "The Rachel Maddow Show" starts
right now.


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