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The Ed Show for Friday, December 7th, 2010

Read the transcript to the Friday show

December 7, 2012

Guests: Emanuel Cleaver, Bernie Sanders, David Cay Johnston, Verg Bernero,
Jonathan Turley

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

John Boehner`s back is against the wall and President Obama is holding
all the cards.

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


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: The clock is ticking. Christmas
is coming. The goose is getting fat. Why are you not bringing this to the

SCHULTZ (voice-over): An urgent message from Nancy Pelosi. But it`s
casual Friday for Speaker Boehner.

report because there`s no progress to report.

SCHULTZ: Today`s news, Speaker Boehner and President Obama will be
the only two at the table to make a deal.

I`ll ask Congressman Emanuel Cleaver if Boehner can get it done.

Thirty-three months of private sector job growth. But now is the time
to start spending on jobs. David Cay Johnston is here.

Senator Mitch McConnell`s self filibuster is more than an embarrassing
blunder. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont explains why.

The right-to-work power grab in Michigan has ignited a firestorm with

We`ll have the latest on Governor Rick Snyder`s race to the bottom.

And breaking news from the Supreme Court: there will be a decision on
the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Law professor Jonathan Turley
has all the details.


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

John Boehner isn`t having a lot of fun this holiday season.

President Obama continues his pressure campaign to pass middle tax
cuts. The president is also taking time to be festive this holiday season.

Meanwhile, John Boehner doesn`t sound so merry.


BOEHNER: This isn`t a progress report because there`s no progress to
report. When it comes to the fiscal cliff that`s threatening our economy
and threatening jobs, the White House has wasted another week.


SCHULTZ: The House speaker had nothing of substance to say about this
week`s phone conversation with the president.


BOEHNER: The phone call was -- it`s pleasant, but was just more of
the same. Even conversations that the staff had yesterday, just more of
the same. It`s time for the president if he`s serious, to come back to us
with a counteroffer.


SCHULTZ: Boehner says the president is not being a helpful
negotiator, even though the president apparently designed the negotiating
sessions at Boehner`s request. According to "The New York Times," Boehner
insisted the talks include only himself and the president of the United
States. Boehner wanted Senate Democrats and Nancy Pelosi out of the

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin told "The Times", "This is now the
speaker and the president working this through."

Democratic leaders say they are satisfied with the briefings that they
continue to receive. Nancy Pelosi seems perfectly happy putting pressure
on the Republicans.


PELOSI: Why are we not here to pass the middle income tax cut? Why
are we not here to even debate the middle income tax cut? Could it be
because the Republicans have holding the middle income tax cuts as they
have all along hostage to tax cuts for the wealthy.


SCHULTZ: The public relations effort continued today. Vice President
Joe Biden had lunch with middle class Americans who will see their taxes go
up if Republicans refuse to extend 98 percent of the tax cuts before the
end of the year.


hard. This ain`t rocket science. It would take 15 minutes from the time
the decision is made by the speaker of the House to pass and make permanent
the middle class tax cut.

The president would probably have me spin up to the Hill to bring the
bill down for him to sign. It can be done like that. It is not


SCHULTZ: Vice President Joe Biden did not waver on the White House`s
position. It`s all about the top tax rates.


BIDEN: Every serious economist I have spoken to -- left, right, and
center -- knows there has to be revenue. You have to do something about
rates. You can`t get there from here without affecting people at this
table, and all of a sudden going into deductibility of health care in terms
of their employment, or fooling around with the mortgage deductions. You
can`t get there without the rates being affected.


SCHULTZ: And the White House is not backing down on rates. The
president sent his legislative affairs director to meet with the
Republicans on the Hill. He told him the White House is not moving on

A source close to the negotiations told "Politico", "Once Republicans
move on rates, they can get a deal very quickly."

That sounds like the president is ready to move. The only person who
has shown any movement on taxes is John Boehner. The speaker angered
conservative when is he said that the Republican offer of new revenue would
come from the wealthiest Americans. Conservatives don`t even want Boehner
to say the word "revenue."

Republican Congressman Justin Amash is one of the conservative members
booted from his committee seat by Boehner. Amash was asked if he would
vote for Boehner to remain speaker.


REP. JUSTIN AMASH (R), MICHIGAN: Right now, I`m not very happy with
the speaker. So, let`s see what happens over the next several weeks.
Let`s put it that way.


SCHULTZ: Conservative pressure on Boehner is mounting. The right
wing Web site RedState is drumming up a campaign to depose Boehner. They
even created a sample letter for people to send to their congressional
members. The letter urges lawmakers to get rid of the speaker.

There are no good outcomes for this man named John Boehner in these
negotiations at this hour. If he holds out against a deal, he will be
blamed for taxes going up on all Americans. If he strikes a deal with the
president on tax rates, he could lose his job.

The last time John Boehner had a one-on-one negotiation with President
Obama, the rank and file Republicans rejected Boehner`s deal.

It`s hard to see how Boehner will get a different outcome this time
around, Eric Cantor looking right over his shoulder. In fact, you could
make the argument that Cantor is the big player who is not in the room,
because if Boehner does a deal with the president and goes back and tries
to get the Republicans to vote for it in the House and Cantor says, no --
where are we?

The president, you have to give him credit -- calm, cool and
collected, holding the line and remembering what this election is all
about. Get your cell phones out.

Tonight`s question: Will Republicans punish Speaker Boehner for trying
to work with the president? Text A for yes, text B to no, to 622639. You
can always go to our blog and leave comment at We`ll bring
the results later on in the show.

Joining me tonight is Congressman Emanuel Cleaver from Missouri.

Congressman, great to have you with us.

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be with you.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

I`d like to talk about the Congressional Black Caucus if I could,
because they have been very, very strong about do not touch the
entitlements. We`re not going to move on this. So you have the president
not moving on rates. You have your caucus moving at all on entitlements.

Although you said the Democratic leadership -- you said that you could
support means testing for Medicare. What does that mean and how far are
you willing to go?

CLEAVER: Well, first of all, Social Security is off the table. There
are not only 42 members in the Congressional Black Caucus who would not
vote for a deal that included Social Security, but I think the majority of
our Democratic Caucus.

Social Security has not distributed one penny to the deficit. It`s
just irresponsible to even put Social Security in a discussion as we are
trying to get some kind of a deal.

Medicare can, I think, be massaged in terms of means testing. With
the upper income individuals paying even -- paying more or sometimes all of
their medical expenses. It makes no sense for the government to pay
Medicare costs for somebody who is earning $700,000 a year, a million
dollars a year.

So I think we can do some means testing. But by no means am I saying
that the means test should be low enough so that our elderly and our
poorest Americans are going to pay for the deficit.

But we want a deal. We want a deal. We`ll deal with Medicare -- and
keep in mind, Ed, I think this is very important. If the Bush tax cuts are
expired, as they will be, just as sure as today is Friday, they are gone,
that generates $950 billion toward the deficit over a 10-year period. We`d
set aside $1.2 trillion. So, we`re almost there.

And if you do means testing on Medicare, we make it.

SCHULTZ: Well, the Republicans would never go along with that kind of
means testing because, of course, that would hit the wealthier Americans.
That`s who they are going to protect.

So, how would that work out?

CLEAVER: Well, you know, what I would hope is if Republicans fight a
deal like that because they want to protect the wealthiest, I think the
American public is going to see through that and they are going to be as
vocal as they are becoming now.

The mail we`re getting from all over the country suggests that the
American public says that the upper end tax rates must go up and that`s
going to happen. It`s going to happen. Everybody needs to just get ready
for it.

SCHULTZ: And Boehner says he won`t go down that road. Where does
that leave us? I mean, we`re still at the stalemate. I feel like I`m
doing Monday night`s newscast on a Friday night. There`s really been no

CLEAVER: There hasn`t been a lot of movement. And in some ways I
feel sorry for the speaker. He`s in a really bad situation.

SCHULTZ: Is he really? I mean, is he really looking over his
shoulder? Is he in a no-win situation?

CLEAVER: Well, it`s very, very difficult, I think. And if he strikes
a deal with the president, I think he`s going to need Democratic support to
get legislation through. I don`t think that they are going to have enough
Republicans to pull him through.


CLEAVER: And so they are going to need us. We are not going to go
there if they are including entitlements, unless there`s means testing.

SCHULTZ: Are you OK with leadership being shut out of these talks and
it`s just down to a one-on-one with Boehner and the president?

CLEAVER: I`m OK with it. I think the president is tough, and the
president has been clear. We`re all proud of the fact that he`s standing

I am a little concerned, though, just because I think we`re going to
be needed for the vote. And it`s infinitely easier to get us if our
leader, Nancy Pelosi, has been involved and she knows, I think, even more
intimately than the president how we feel, particularly about the so-called

SCHULTZ: Well, that`s what`s interesting here, Congressman, because
there`s a lot of controversy in Washington about how the White House, the
president himself, is somewhat disconnected from people on the Hill. And
it would seem to me that Nancy Pelosi knows her caucus probably as good as
anybody in American history. She`s very strong and very on point about
where her caucus is and can bring her caucus with her when the time comes.

CLEAVER: I can assure you she does.

SCHULTZ: Yes. All right. Let`s get back to rates for a moment.
Vice President Biden suggested that there is wiggle room over rates. Here
it is.


BIDEN: Brackets have to go up -- this is not a negotiable issue.
Theoretically, we can negotiate how far up, but we think it should go --
the top rate should go to 39.6 percent.


SCHULTZ: Thirty-nine-point-six percent, but that`s not in concrete.
What rate would be acceptable to you and House Democrats?

CLEAVER: Well, 39.6 sounds pretty good to me. However, I think if we
fall to the Clinton era tax rates, I`m OK with that. I think that we ought
to have some wiggle room on the tax rates because I think the country wants
us to compromise.


CLEAVER: So there`s compromise space there, but make no mistake,
we`re not going to compromise away the upper end tax rates. That`s on the
table. It will stay on the table. That`s what the American people are
asking for.

SCHULTZ: OK. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, great to have
you with us here tonight on THE ED SHOW. Appreciate your time.

Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @EdShow and on Facebook.
We always encourage you and we want to know what you think.

Coming up, Mitch McConnell filibusters his own bill in the Senate.
Senator Bernie Sanders joins us to talk about what that means for the
future. And, of course, fiscal cliff talks.

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


SCHULTZ: Unemployment hits a four-year low, but Republican
obstruction is keeping the country from creating even more jobs. We`ll
bring you the latest numbers, they`re good. And I`ll ask economist David
Cay Johnston why now is the time to focus on job creation.

And the Supreme Court will hear two cases on same-sex marriage. We`ll
get the details from constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley later on
in this hour.

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

We are coming right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. And thanks for watching

We`ve seen a whole lot of obstructionism from the Senate Republicans,
obstructing the president`s agenda and trying to stop progress has just
really how they do business.

The latest move from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell just might
take the cake. Yesterday, McConnell threatened to filibuster his own bill.
McConnell proposed legislation to give the president the authority to raise
the debt ceiling.

Under the plan, Congress would need a two-thirds majority to stop him.
It`s a proposal that President Obama likes.

So why would Mitch McConnell propose such a bill? To embarrass the
Democrats. McConnell wanted to prove that the Democrats didn`t have the
votes for the legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called his bluff, initially objected
to putting the bill up for a vote, but after discussing it with his
Democratic members, Reid got the support he needed and had a change of

Senator Claire McCaskill was presiding over the Senate when McConnell
objected to voting on the bill.


SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSIOURI: Is there an objection to the
original request?


MCCASKILL: Objection is heard. I got whiplash.


SCHULTZ: Very strange.

Senator Dick Durbin reacted to McConnell`s unbelievable move moments


SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: So this may be a moment in Senate
history when a senator made a proposal and when given an opportunity for a
vote on that proposal, filibustered his own proposal. I think we have now
reached a new spot in the history of the Senate we have never seen before.


SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, independent --
I`m laughing at it too, Senator.

I mean, this just goes to show either winging it big time. They don`t
have a plan other than to get in the way. And they`re just throwing it up

What`s your response to what unfolded on the floor and what we can
look forward to in the future?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: I think Dick Durbin was right. In
a time of dysfunctionality in the Senate, and all kinds of absurdity, this
probably takes the cake when you filibuster your own probably.

But the bottom line here, what is serious, is this country, as you
well know, Ed, faces enormous problems. We`ve got millions of people
desperately trying to find work. We`re trying to deal with global warming
and the tremendous problems that that`s going to bring to our planet. We
have this absurd Citizens United situation and billions of dollars coming
into the campaign from very wealthy people. A whole lot of issues that
have to be dealt with.

And time after time after time in an unprecedented way, the
Republicans are saying, no, the majority is not going to rule. You`re
going to need 60 votes. We object. We`re going to filibuster.

That just eats up the clock. It makes it very, very difficult for us
to do the work that the American people have sent us to Washington to do.

SCHULTZ: Well, will these tactics continue? These rule changes that
the Democrats are talking about and making the move on, will it change the

SANDERS: Well, I certainly hope we will succeed with very serious
filibuster reform, because if we don`t, we`re going to continue to be tied
up in knots. Look, the Senate is not the House, and we want to create a
situation where the minority, whether it`s Republican, Democrat, whatever,
has the right to explain to the American people why they feel the way they
feel. That is terrible important.

On the other hand, the majority in this country has the right to rule,
has the right to make decisions. Obama won a huge victory. We won 25 out
of 33 elections in the Senate. We won seats in the House.

The American people want action and it is un-democratic, it is un-
American when a small minority can deny the majority from going forward.

SCHULTZ: And, Senator, the fiscal situation they are dealing with in
Washington right now, it doesn`t look like we have made a lot of progress.
And now, it`s down to the president and the speaker alone in the
negotiations. What are your thoughts on that?

SANDERS: Well, it shouldn`t just be the speaker and the president.
It should be the voice of the American people. It should be the Senate and
it should be the House.

On these issues, Ed, the election mattered. And poll after poll tells
us the same thing. Not a lot of debate but that`s what the American people

SCHULTZ: That`s not -- that`s not getting through to Speaker Boehner.
He just will not move on rates.

SANDERS: That`s right. And that is why the president and the
Democrats have to stand tall. The Democrats must not snatch defeat out of
the jaws of victory.

We have the American people on our side. We won the election. Poll
after poll tells us.

The American people understand that the wealthiest people are doing
phenomenally well. Their tax rates are low. Meanwhile, the middle class
is disappearing and they are in a lot of trouble. Yes, the wealthy and
large corporations must be asked to play a significant role in deficit

Yes, we must not cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Education.
That`s not Bernie Sanders` point of view.


SANDERS: That is clearly what the American people believe. And the
president, Democrats have got to hold firm and when they do, it will
finally be the Republicans that come to the table rather than just the
Democrats caving in as has been the case in the past.

SCHULTZ: All right. Senator Bernie Sanders, appreciate your time on
this Friday night. Thanks so much for joining us.

Coming up, the fight over the fiscal cliff is putting American jobs at
risk. One of these congressional members is lying about the problem.
We`ll use the newest job numbers to get to the truth next.

And Republicans in Michigan are ramming through antiunion legislation
and hurting middle class Americans in the process. The people of Michigan
are outraged. We`re talking to Lansing, Michigan Mayor Virg Bernero for an

Stay tuned. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

We told you at the top of the show, Republicans are dragging their
feet to get a tax cut deal with the American people. Those Republican
delays are putting our economic recovery, I think, in some serious
neighborhood -- dangerous, very dangerous.

The good news is though, the latest employment numbers came out this
morning. The economy added 146,000 jobs in the month of November. The
unemployment rate hit a four-year low. It inched down to 7.7 percent.

Here`s the bad news. America lost another 7,000 manufacturing jobs
last month. Overall, these job numbers are better than analysts predicted,
but Republicans refuse to compromise on policies which will bring back even
more jobs next year. They are risking our nation`s economic recovery.

Here`s how Speaker John Boehner`s explanation today.


BOEHNER: The risks the president wants us to take -- increasing tax
rates will hit many small businesses that produce 60 to 70 percent of the
new jobs in our country. That`s the whole issue here.


SCHULTZ: Once again. It`s all theory from Boehner. No guarantee on

But Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says the problem goes beyond the
fiscal cliff debate.


PELOSI: Our economy is moving forward, but it could be growing at a
faster rate. The Republican leadership had taken up and passed some of
President Obama`s job initiatives, including the American Jobs Act, and had
passed the middle income tax cut.


SCHULTZ: So, let`s cut to the chase. One of those congressional
members is lying. Either the Republicans are right on cutting taxes will
add jobs or the president`s stimulus policies are fueling the economic
recovery in this country.

Joining me tonight to sort out the facts, David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer
Prize-winning journalist and author of "The Fine Print."

Let`s start with the job growth. Unemployment hit rock bottom near
the beginning of the -- under the Bush administration. You can see this
right there. And this, of course, is changing the color here is when
President Obama took over in January of `09.

Who is responsible for this turn around?

it would be a better turn around if the Republicans had allowed a bigger
stimulus. We would have many, many more jobs if they are willing to have a
bigger stimulus.

SCHULTZ: You would make the case that we didn`t spend enough on the

JOHNSTON: Not only that we did not spend enough, but we wasted 40
percent of it on tax cuts for small business, which is inherently savings
and not stimulus. It was a real policy mistake.

SCHULTZ: So, considering where we were and now 33 months of private
sector job growth, is this historic?

JOHNSTON: Well, it`s certainly -- we`re going in the right direction,
Ed. I mean, we`re not creating as many jobs as we need for the population
growth, but it is astonishing that we are recovering the way we are and if
the Republicans would stop creating the uncertainty, remember the


JOHNSTON: By not making a deal, we`d see the numbers improving very

SCHULTZ: Let me ask in terms of the stability. I mean, these are
numbers. Does it look historic? No, it doesn`t.

But when we were down here, we were on the verge of tipping over. Our
whole economic situation, our whole financial situation, in that -- in that
regard --

JOHNSTON: Obama has managed a very bad hand very, very well. But he
was dealt an incredibly bad hand and it`s surprising it didn`t get a lot
worse than it did.

SCHULTZ: OK, this shows the unemployment rate under President Obama`s
administration. Which of the president`s policies have helped the most in

JOHNSTON: Well, very crucial to this has been his decision to get
Congress to extend unemployment benefits surprisingly, because people, when
they have money, are spending it back in the economy. Remember, every 50th
person you meet statistically only has Food Stamps today as income. And
that`s the result of these years of the Republican`s policies.

So having unemployment and extending benefits next year would be very
important to continuing to bring this number down and having businesses
hire more people because they have customer with money in their pockets to
buy products and services.

SCHULTZ: All right, this is what could have happened if Congress had
failed to pass the Recovery Act. The Center on Budget and Policy
Priorities says that we have added almost one million more jobs because of
the stimulus package.

Why are the Republicans fighting stimulus spending now? Why? Is it
they don`t want to see President Obama succeed? Or do they really believe
that spending more money is not the right thing to do?

JOHNSTON: I think both of those are true. They do not want him to
succeed. There`s no question about that. They are assert that spending
more money is wrong. We really need to be spending a lot more money,
fixing up our infrastructure and creating jobs and making the economy run

But they are trapped, Ed. They have sold the public on the same idea
that we once had sold to us, that the Earth was the center of the universe,
that everything revolved around it. And they -- it`s dogma. They can`t
abandon their dogma.

SCHULTZ: You heard the soundbyte earlier. John Boehner says cutting
taxes on small businesses will help create jobs. Is he right?

JOHNSTON: No. Nobody creates a job to get a tax cut. You create
jobs when you have more customers with more money to spend on more products
and services. It`s getting money throwing through the bottom ranks -- the
bottom 90 percent of the economy that will result in more jobs.

SCHULTZ: All right, we are seeing record levels of long-term
unemployment right now. And this is the angst in the economy. Even though
it`s dropped to 7.7 percent, millions of people have been out of work for
27 weeks or more. Long-term unemployment benefits expire on December 29th.

This is part of the cliff and everything. It`s going to be a tough
holiday for a lot of families out there across the country. But last week,
we got to point out that the Congressional Budget Office reported we could
add 300,000 more jobs by extending unemployment benefits, which you were
talking about. It would cost 30 billion dollars.

Now will Republicans agree at least to extend the unemployment
benefits? Or do they just not see any value in doing that. Because they
are just ideologically opposed to it.

JOHNSTON: They only need about 25 Republicans to step over to agree
to do this. And you`re seeing Grover Norquist`s grip fall apart. So we
may well see this. This is a really important thing to do to improve the
lives of young people. One thing to keep in mind, Ed, with that long term
unemployment chart you had, it is younger workers who are being hurt the

The job gains are heavily among people 55 and over. We don`t want to
have a society where we get cynical young people that, well, there`s no
point in playing by the rules and working hard because you won`t get a job
any way.

SCHULTZ: Why not go over the cliff? If we go over the cliff, we`re
talking solving the financial problems. But we run the risk of another
recession. I believe, personally, that we might dip a little bit, but it
won`t be anything like the first chart we showed. I mean, let`s get rid of
Bush tax policy and start over. What about that?

JOHNSTON: I think that that may well be a good idea. It`s risky, Ed.
There`s some risk as to what will happen. We don`t know. But the fact is
the government would then have all of this revenue. If it spends that
revenue to create jobs -- and regardless of what the Republicans say,
government creates jobs all the time, from school teachers like your money
to people like my brother, who was a ditch digger and you could get to
work, because he was out there cleaning the culvert out after a storm.

We need a whole lot of jobs created. If the government gets all that
revenue and we push it back out the door, then that will help the economy

SCHULTZ: We had an excellent economy under President Clinton at those
rates. What are we afraid of?

JOHNSTON: In fact, more jobs were created in the eight years of Bill
Clinton than the 20 years of Reagan and the two Bushes. Eight years more
than in the other 20.

SCHULTZ: David Cay Johnston, great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.

JOHNSTON: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: There`s a lot coming up in the next half hour of THE ED
SHOW. Stay right with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you proud of what Americans for Prosperity has
achieved this year?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You bet I am. Man, we`re going to do more too.


SCHULTZ: The Koch Brothers` money is hard at work in Michigan, where
union-busting Republicans are ramming right to work into law. We`ll go to
Lansing, Michigan, for the latest.

The push to pass the Violence Against Women Act is on. But Fox News
just doesn`t get it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it skirts the issue that women are
victims of violence all the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should have guns.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or make better decisions. >


SCHULTZ: And the Supreme Court announced today they will begin
hearing cases on gay marriage. Tonight, professor of Constitutional law
Jonathan Turley on this historic civil rights battle.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. One thing about Republicans,
they never give up. There is an assault on middle class workers going on
in the state of Michigan. And it`s a replay of basically what happened in
Wisconsin. Governor Rick Snyder, backed by the Koch Brothers, is
attempting to bust unions in the state where the modern labor movement

On Thursday, Michigan Republicans rammed through right to work
legislation. It prohibits paying union dues as a condition of employment,
but won`t apply to existing union contracts. The bill is expected to pass
next week. This is a complete political stealth attack by Governor Snyder.

He never campaigned on a right to work law. And the bill passed with
little or no debate. That`s what`s infuriating people.

Republicans also used a dirty trick to avoid a recall vote on the law.
They included spending in the bill because laws with spending can`t be
overturned by a citizen vote such as a referral. So this sneak attack on
labor has people in Michigan absolutely outraged.

Took a lot of calls on it today on the radio show. Protesters stormed
the Michigan state capital on Thursday. Police used pepper spray on
protesters and eight arrests were made. Meanwhile, Governor Snyder claims
his right to work law isn`t bad for unions?


GOV. RICK SNYDER (R), MICHIGAN: I do not view this as something
against the unions. I support the unions in many regards. I support their
right to organize. I encourage the unions to be very proactive about
presenting the best case as to why someone should belong to a union.


SCHULTZ: The governor is dead wrong. When right to work laws pass,
union membership goes down along with workers` wages. This is all part of
the Republican effort to dismantle the Democratic base by union busting.

Let`s bring in Lansing Mayor Verg Bernero, with us tonight. Verg,
good to have you with us. I know you`re steaming about this. You just
heard what the governor said. He said this is not anti-union. He wants to
encourage the unions and he encourages people to join. What do you make of

MAYOR VERG BERNERO, LANSING (D), MICHIGAN: Please. It`s the ultimate
double speak. Ed, democracy is under attack. It`s not hyperbolic to say
democracy is under attack in Michigan. These are the most democratic
institutions on the planet, is the union. To attack them -- and it`s also,
they are locking people out of the capital, the people`s building.

They are using state police. Those weren`t my police, by the way, who
maced folks. They are using state police to block people from entering the
capital. Now I don`t blame those individual officers. They`re under
orders. And the orders come straight from the governor.

I`ve been here for 30 years in politics. I`ve only seen the state
capital building locked twice. And both were under the Snyder
administration. So it`s an assault on democracy in so many ways.

You talk about the fiscal cliff you had earlier in the show. Many of
our families are facing the fiscal cliff. The biggest fight -- the biggest
organization leading the fight to help working families has been the
unions. That`s been the equalizer. We know that the top six states in
unemployment are right to work states.

So what are we doing in this economy to promote? What is the governor
doing and the Republicans to help grow the economy? It has nothing to do
with right to work. You`re going to drive more people into poverty. It`s
senseless in every way. And of course it`s very underhanded, as you said,
the way they are going about it, with no debate.

SCHULTZ: Well, they are doing this in a lame duck session, correct?

BERNERO: Absolutely. Look, you see the time it is. People are out
shopping thinking about the holidays. And of course they`re trying to do
this in a matter of just days. They have suspended the rules. They have
violated their own rules up the ying yang, and not allowed any public

And the speaker of the House had the temerity to say, oh, this has
been debated for years in Michigan. Bull. There`s been no real debate.
Let`s talk about right to work. Let`s talk about what it really means.
It`s the right to work for less. That`s what it is. It`s completely
undemocratic. When the majority of people vote, you know what it is.

I`m not sure people know what right to work really means, because it`s
a misnomer. The fact is it`s anti-democratic. When the majority of a
company, the majority of workers say we want a union, there ought to be a
union and everybody should pay for it, because everybody is going to
benefit from it.

What they are talking about with this choice -- Snyder says, oh,
everybody should have a choice. That`s like me saying if I don`t like the
president, I shouldn`t have to pay my taxes. Democracy doesn`t work that
way. It`s a majority rule.

SCHULTZ: Governor Snyder thinks right to work laws create jobs. Here
he is earlier today.


SNYDER: I think this could be good for economic development, for more
and better jobs coming to Michigan. We have watched closely what`s going
on in Indiana. They have seen many more companies look at Indiana, citing
this as one of the factors, the fact they did it back in February. They
could have thousands more jobs in that state because they became a right to
work state.


SCHULTZ: Mayor Bernero of Lansing, Michigan, your response to that?

BERNERO: That`s absolute crap. The fact is they have a governor who
is working his butt off to bring jobs back to Indiana. OK, that makes a
big difference. I have been around. I`m bringing jobs from Italy and
other places. And nobody asks about right to work.

Give me a break. The unions helped create the middle class in this
country. Everybody knows it. The fact is that right to work states have
worse education. They have worse performance. They have higher
unemployment. The facts just don`t back the governor up.

This is a governor that prides himself on having the facts.

SCHULTZ: UAW President Bob King blamed the Koch Brothers for helping
ram through this legislation. Do you believe that? What role do the Koch
Brothers, if any, play in all of this?

BERNERO: It`s hard for me to know. I mean, I think there`s a lot of
big money involved. I see this Prosperity America. I think that`s their
outfit. I see equipment and tents and so on. How much big money is
flowing around? I don`t know. I think they are all over.

I think, Ed, you have been on this before. We have got to get the big
corporate money out of politics. This is disgusting. This is a
bastardization of our democracy that`s taking place. I tell you, democracy
is under attack. We have to get the big corporate money out.

And it`s disgusting to think that the Koch Brothers` long arm and
their big money can reach all the way in. And if can happen in Michigan,
it can happen anywhere. Working people are under attack. I believe there
will be repercussions for this too, Ed.

SCHULTZ: In what way?

BERNERO: I think the governor is making a huge mistake. I know `14
is a ways off. But look, this governor, as you said, did not campaign on
this. He said very little during the campaign about anything he would do.
But what he did say is this wasn`t on his agenda. Right to work wasn`t on
his agenda. But now suddenly it is no his agenda.

I wonder why? I wonder what changed? So I think that there will be
repercussions. I pray to God this governor won`t be back.

SCHULTZ: All right. Mayor Verg Bernero, Lansing, Michigan, good to
have you with us on the program tonight. Thanks so much.

A last ditch effort is underway to get Republican support behind the
Violence Against Women Act. Will it work? That`s next.


SCHULTZ: For almost 20 years, the Violence Against Women Act has
received broad bipartisan support. Even the most partisan right wingers
didn`t want to stand in the way of providing resources to combat domestic

But that`s all in the past. The law is now up for reauthorization and
Republicans are fighting it. Vice President Joe Biden and House Majority
Leader Eric Cantor are now in talks trying to iron out differences to get
the legislation passed before the end of the year.

Biden is the law`s original sponsor. And since the law`s passage in
1994, domestic violence has dropped 58 percent. The Senate has already
passed a bipartisan bill with additional protections for undocumented
immigrants, members of the LGBT community and Native Americans. But
Republicans in the House want those protections removed.

"I think the talks are serious but the prospects dim," a Senate
Democratic leadership aide told "The Hill" newspaper. "House Republicans
don`t seem to be learning the lessons of the campaign and election."

Meanwhile, sources tell "the Huffington Post" Cantor is on board as
long as one thing is stripped from the bill, a key protection for Native
American women. Cantor is refusing to accept any added protections for
Native American women that would give expanded jurisdiction to tribes, and
is pressuring Democrats to concede on that front.

In the meantime, the crew over at Fox News is giving advice on women
can protect themselves against violence. Get a gun. Fox News contributor
Dana Perino shrugged that suggestion off and instead placed blame on


DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think it skirts the issue that
women are victims of violence all the time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should have guns.

PERINO: Well, maybe or make better decisions.


SCHULTZ: Guns just solve everything. Tonight in our survey, I asked
you will Republicans punish Speaker Boehner for trying to work with the
President? Eighty seven percent of you say yes; 13 percent of you say no.

Coming up, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear its first
same-sex marriage cases. Jonathan Turley on what the court`s ruling could
mean for the future of marriage equality. That`s next.


SCHULTZ: In the Big Finish tonight, the Supreme Court announced today
that it will hear its first same-sex marriage cases. Justices agreed to
hear arguments about Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Proposition 8 is the 2008 ballot measure that made same-sex marriage
illegal in the state of California. Residents voted 52 to 48 to eliminate
the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Last February, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down
Proposition 8 on the basis that it stripped individuals of rights
previously granted when same-sex marriages were permitted in the state.
Opponents of same-sex marriage appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court,
which will now review the decision.

The court will also take up the Defense of Marriage Act case, which
challenges a section of the law that defines marriage as between a man and
a woman for the purposes of receiving federal benefits. This means the
highest court now has the opportunity to rule on whether gay Americans have
the same Constitutional right to marry as heterosexual Americans.

The court`s decision to hear these cases comes after a series of
election victories for same-sex marriage. Last month, Washington, Maine,
Maryland became the first states to approve same-sex marriage ballot
measures. They joined New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Colombia, which already allows same-
sex marriage marriages.

The justices will heard the arguments in March and expect to make a
decision in June.

I`m joined tonight by Jonathan Turley, professor of Constitutional law
at George Washington University. Professor, great to have you with us

This, of course, is the civil rights issue of our time. What are the
justices dealing with here, the basics?

frankly, what they are dealing with is obviously an historic moment, but
one that puts the legacy, not just of the court but the individual justices
on the line. This is a court that has a rather checkered history with
regard to the rights of gay and lesbian citizens.

Remember, it was only in 2003 that the court ruled in Lawrence v.
Texas that you could not criminalize homosexuality. That`s how recent that
was. And we have seen an evolution of the court that`s been a bit slower
than society as a whole.

Remember, in the earlier decision that Lawrence turned over, or
overturned. Justice Powell, who was the deciding vote, told his clerk that
he had never met a gay person in his life. It turned out that clerk was
gay, but he didn`t know it. But it shows how far the court has come.

But the question is, has it gone far enough? This could be a very
close vote. And it could come down, again, to Justice Kennedy.

SCHULTZ: What will each side -- what legal arguments will be made?
What will really stand out here that will catch the attention of the
American people? What legal arguments will each side make?

BERNERO: Ed, as is often the case, the initial arguments are not
going to be the ones that citizens expect. This is an incredibly important
series of cases. Remember, there were 10 petitions that they could choose
from to address same sex marriage. They selected two.

And those two cases actually do give them a very broad front on which
to act. But they can avoid the critical question of the equal protection
of gay and lesbian couples, because both cases involve so-called standing
questions. These are questions of whether these parties have a right to
present this case.

Probably the most serious standing questions are on the DOMA case, the
Windsor case. The case is being defended by a group of Republican members.
And it is not clear that they have actual standing to bring the case. So
if the court says you don`t have standing, then the lower court would
prevail, and in fact Ms. Windsor would prevail, just by showing up.

SCHULTZ: And how will the court`s ruling on these two cases affect
the future of marriage equality in this country?

BERNERO: Well, it could not be more important. I mean, this is the
Brown v. Board of Education potentially for gay and lesbian couples. That
case came for African-Americans in 1954, I believe. This could be that

We`re all hoping that it is. This country is an imperfect union by
the mere fact that we have not recognized the right of people who are in
love to be recognized as married. There are 120,000 couples in this
country that are directly -- have their interests directly at stake here.

But it`s not just them. The question is will this country embrace
this fundamental human right? And I don`t believe Kennedy wants to be on
the wrong side of history on that.

SCHULTZ: This is the latest challenge to the constitutionality of the
Defense of Marriage Act. Is DOMA doomed?

BERNERO: I think it is. There are four district courts that ruled
that it violated the equal protection rights of gay and lesbian couples.
There are four district courts and two court of appeals. So there`s a
rather heavy judicial pile of precedent here from the lower courts.

The only question remains is one of standing. But I think that it
really is losing steam. The question`s going to be coming Hollingsworth
(ph), and whether the court leaves it to states, and leaves this question
to states like California. And that could be a really painful decision if
it goes the wrong way for many of us.

SCHULTZ: All right, Professor Jonathan Turley, great to have you with
us tonight on THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much.

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts
right now. Ezra Klein filling in for Rachel tonight. Good evening, Ezra.


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