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The Ed Show for Friday, January 11th, 2013

Read the transcript to the Friday show

January 11, 2013

Guests: Mark Glaze, Karen Finney, Howard Dean, Chris Nowinski

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

The NRA wants an assault weapons ban off the table. The White House

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


DAVID KEENE, NRA PRESIDENT: I do not think there is going to be a ban
on so-called assault weapons passed by the Congress.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The NRA continues their denial campaign. And
Vice President Joe Biden resumed his task force today. Mark Glaze has the
detail on the NRA`s agenda.

Gun extremists won`t give up and are as wacky as ever in the face of
reform. The latest: civil rights.

LARRY WARD: I believe that Gun Appreciation Day honors the legacy of
Dr. King.

SCHULTZ: Michael Eric Dyson sets them straight tonight.

Congressman Phil Gingrey backs up Todd Akin`s disgusting lame.

REP. PHIL GINGREY (R), GEORGIA: A woman`s body has a way of shutting
down so the pregnancy would not occur. He`s partly right on that, I`m an
OBY/GYN doctor.

SCHULTZ: Karen Finney on the GOP`s newest charge on women.

Howard Dean gives us the outlook on filibuster reform.

And the trillion dollar coin.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: You guys have a position on this trillion coin

SCHULTZ: It`s just crazy enough to work.

Chris Nowinski of the Sports Legacy Institute lays out the next steps
on taking on brain injuries in the NFL.


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

President Obama says the country needs the take immediate action on
gun violence. It looks like he`ll get a comprehensive plan on his table
next week.

Vice President Joe Biden held another round of meetings today on gun
reform. Today, the meetings were with representatives of the videogame
industry. Biden says the conversation was part of the administration`s
far-reaching approach. He says the country is looking for help from


complex problem. We know there is no single answer. And, quite frankly,
we don`t even know whether some of the things people think impact on this
actually impact on it or not. And so, I want you to know you have not
been, quote, "singled out" for help.


SCHULTZ: Over the past two weeks, the vice president`s team has met
with dozens of organizations and groups from around the country from a wide
range of interests -- the law enforcement community, the medical community,
the child advocacy at-risk youth groups have been involved, domestic
violence and prevention community was in there, also legal justice and
service organizations, religious groups and organization, education
leaders, the mental health community, gun owners and sportsmen were
included, gun safety advocates, technology experts.

The vice president is taking recommendations from all groups. There
is common ground on this issue from all sides. For instance, even NRA
members overwhelmingly support changes to background check laws, 74 percent
want everyone purchasing a gun permit to undergo a background check with no
loopholes. This is from Republicans pollster Frank Luntz, and was taken
long before the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Plenty of gun owners are on board with changing the status quo. Right
now, there are basically three major firewalls to sensible and safety laws
in this country being changed. If you want to ban assault weapons in this
country, I think first, you have to deal with the gun nuts. And we`re
going to have a special segment on them coming up later on in the program.

Now, this crowd is convinced that the government wants to ban
absolutely everything, in fact even get rid of hunting. Now, the next
firewall of course is the Republican Party. To date, not one Republican
lawmaker is open to considering a ban on assault weapons like we had

These Republicans, quite frankly, are too afraid to go up against the
third firewall, and that would be the National Rifle Association. The NRA
met with Vice President Biden and his team. Instead of having a meaningful
conversation, NRA president David Keene said this on the "Today" show.


KEENE: If you`re look at the problem, which is to prevent this sort
of thing, what you want to do is do those things that will actually make a
difference. We have a profound disagreement with this administration,
first of all, on what would make a difference. We don`t think that a ban
on so-called assault weapons, which hasn`t worked in the past, is going to
work this time.


SCHULTZ: The NRA is committed to injecting poison into the
conversation, as I see it on gun reform. David Keene knows he is not
telling the truth.

We know for a fact, mass shootings in this country were dramatically
lower during the 10 years of the assault weapons ban. Mass shootings have
gone up since 2004, reaching a horrible peak last year. But as long as the
NRA keeps lying, they believe they will block any meaningful legislation


MATT LAUER, NBC NEWS: Do you have the support in Congress to block
any federal ban on assault weapons in the coming year?

KEENE: I do not think that there is going to be a ban on so-called
assault weapons passed by the Congress.


SCHULTZ: David Keene is dripping with confidence for a guy who claims
the NRA doesn`t have a lot of power in Washington.


KEENE: I don`t know that the NRA is that powerful. I do think that
those Americans who believe strongly in the Second Amendment and their
right to own privately and use firearms for legitimate purposes is a huge
number of people who really care about these issues. We try to provide
leadership to those folks. We try to represent them before the Congress
and elsewhere.


SCHULTZ: This is another big lie. The NRA does not work on behalf of
average gun owners in America. The "Huffington Post" reported today on the
masters who are served by the NRA.

Since 2005, the NRA has raised anywhere from $14 million to $39
million from the biggest names in the gun industry.

Here is what all that cash pays for. The NRA successfully lobbied for
the end of the assault weapons ban. Since 2004, rifle production in the
United States has increased by almost 38 percent. More guns equals more

All of those assault rifles -- well, they need a lot of extra bullets,
don`t they? Midway USA someone of the biggest distributors of high
capacity magazine clips. Those clips are used in guns like the Bushmaster
and the Glock, the weapons used in places like Newtown and Tucson, Arizona.
Midway USA is the most generous gun industry supporter of the National
Rifle Association. The company has donated $7.7 million to the NRA since

Keep this in mind -- the next time you hear David Keene or Wayne
LaPierre say that we just can`t ban high capacity magazines. So here is
where we are. The Obama administration knows that it`s got a difficult
fight on its hands.

This is why the latest gun reform task force has been so wide
reaching. The White House is hoping to overwhelm the NRA by building a
massive coalition of groups committed to change. It`s the same type of
strategy the Obama team used in two presidential campaigns that -- well,
worked pretty well. The NRA has a lot of power, no doubt.

But the combined strength of all of the groups meeting with Vice
President Joe Biden can overwhelm the NRA this time. Biden says that he
will deliver recommendations to the president on Tuesday.

The time for change is right now. It is a moment in history we cannot
let spin to outer space and be gone forever. If they can`t do it now, when
can they do it?

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you`re thinking.
Tonight`s question: will the Obama administration get gun legislation
passed? Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. You can always go to
our blog at and leave a comment there. We encourage you to do
that. We`ll bring the results later on in the show.

Joining me tonight is Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal

Mark, good to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: With all the discussion and media intensity tonight, what is

GLAZE: I think a lot is doable. There has been a real tipping point
in this country that sees mass shootings happen more and more frequently
and on a greater scale. And, you know, people who have been doing this for
much of their professional life say there`s never been a moment like this.

SCHULTZ: So what`s doable? What is number one? Is it the background

GLAZE: I think that this is one of those times when good policy and
good politics actually come in the same package. It`s a good time for

Background checks are something that most people already take. But 50
percent of the gun sales in this country may not be subject to them because
they`re sold over the Internet or at a gun show by an unlicensed private
seller. Only dealers have to give background checks. And dealers don`t
like that very much.

SCHULTZ: So feasibly, that would be the easiest thing to implement --
comprehensive background checks, because some people already get checks.
So, the infrastructure is in place there?

GLAZE: The infrastructure is in place, 74 percent of NRA members
think that giving everybody a check is a good idea because most NRA members
are law abiding citizens. They take background checks and they passed
them. They know it takes 90 seconds and it saves a lot of lives. Why
wouldn`t everyone else have to take one as well?

SCHULTZ: You heard Mr. Keene talk about they belong strongly in the
Second Amendment, that there are enough Americans out there that believe
strongly in the Second Amendment. Is that rhetoric?

GLAZE: Well, no, I think they`re right. I mean, a lot of people do
believe strongly in the Second Amendment --

SCHULTZ: Well, the point where they don`t want to make any changes is
what I mean.

GLAZE: No, not at all. And this sort of exacerbates a problem that
the NRA has, which is the place where the leadership is far away from where
the NRA rank-and-file actually is. I mean, the overwhelming majority of
NRA members, 87 percent believe in the following statement. You can
protect the Second Amendment, and also do much more to keep people who
should not have guns from having them -- criminals, domestic abusers, the
seriously mentally ill.

There`s no contradiction that. Everybody basically believes that
except for the NRA`s Washington lobbyists.

SCHULTZ: All right. A lot of people choosing up sides and weighing
in on this. Your group has seen a surge in membership since the shootings
took place in Newtown last month. It`s a growing coalition, no doubt.

Is it enough to push back against the NRA? Are you winning this war?

And it is a war in a sense, a war of opinions, to win over the hearts
and minds of people that this is a time in American history that we need to
move on the Second Amendment, and it has to be I guess you could say

GLAZE: Well, I loved watching the NRA brag that they brought in
100,000 new members since the Newtown shooting, because we brought in more
than 400,000 new members since the Newtown shooting. And these are people
who are representative of the country, and of the average NRA member.

I mean, it`s -- this is not their problem. There has been a broad and
durable consensus for more than a generation that people should have the
right to have a gun in their home, protect themselves and go hunting.
Nobody is disputing that.

The question is whether people who are already prohibited from having
guns should have a system in place that stops them from getting them.

SCHULTZ: OK. So the background checks you say are doable. What
about the magazines?

GLAZE: I think that`s doable as well. It`s harder because people
don`t like bans in this country. But the truth is the thing that makes
mass shootings mass shootings is somebody can fire as fast as they can pull
the trigger, and they don`t have to reload.

SCHULTZ: Phil Gingrey in the news today is willing to listen to a
high capacity magazine ban. Is this an opening?

GLAZE: Oh, sure. And, you know, we meet with senators and members of
Congress every day.

SCHULTZ: What do they say to you?

GLAZE: What they say to you privately is very different from what
they`re saying publicly. And what they say to you privately is, look, I
get it. This is a real problem. We got to deal with it. I got a lot of
NRA money and a lot of NRA members sloshing around in my district, and I
have to explain this to them, but I`m going to find a way.

SCHULTZ: Vice President Biden seems to be very determined. I mean,
he has been so intense on this, there would be egg on his face if something
didn`t happen, I think. But -- and I think he is more than well intended.

Are you hearing from anyone, any of the people who have been to these
meetings as to whether they believe something is going to get done?

GLAZE: Well, sure. We`ve been in there a couple of times now, and we
absolutely believe, first of all, that he is the right person to be doing
this. He was instrumental in passing some of the really good gun laws we
passed in this country the last time we did it.

SCHULTZ: The Clinton crime bill.

GLAZE: During the Clinton administration.


GLAZE: He is very close to law enforcement. He is from kind of the
heart of the country, and he understands -- he understands how people think
about this issue. And basically, people want their kids to be safe. They
don`t want felons getting guns.

And, in fact, we know how to stop that from happening if the NRA`s
Washington leadership would just get out of the way.

SCHULTZ: You say that lawmakers are saying to you different things
than what they`re saying in the public?

GLAZE: Oh, sure.

SCHULTZ: But they got to vote.

GLAZE: Oh, yes.

SCHULTZ: You think would there be enough votes to pass the assault
weapons ban as it was written in `94?

GLAZE: You know, anybody who tells you that they know that is kidding
themselves. I don`t know that that is the fact.

But, you know, I think we`re going to be working very hard every day
to make the case that we don`t have to live in an America where 20 kids my
son`s age are lined up against a wall and shot.

SCHULTZ: How much does President Obama have to spend on this subject
State of the Union, February 12th?

GLAZE: You know, I don`t have a number of minutes in mind, but I
think he is going to spend a good long time. A good thing to do is look at
President Clinton`s last State of the Union speech, his valedictory before
he left. He spent minute after minute after minute talking about
everything he had accomplished and what yet needs to be done on gun issues.

You know, that man is remembered very well in this country, and I
think President Obama will be remembered, along with Vice President Biden
for taking this on and making it a part of their legacy.

SCHULTZ: Mark Glaze, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so

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 want to know what you think.

Up next, the extremists who think they speak for all gun owners in
America. They don`t. We`ll visit the fringe and speak about guns, slavery
and G. Gordon Liddy when we come back.


SCHULTZ: Coming up, Republican Congressman Phil Gingrey says his
former colleague Todd Akin was partly right about his comments about rape.
I`ll talk to MSNBC analyst Karen Finney about the GOP`s troubling views.

And later, new information about the death of legendary football
player Junior Seau draws new questions about the safety of athletes. What
can the NFL do to protect its players?

You can listen to my radio show on Sirius XM Radio channel 127, Monday
through Friday, noon to 3:00 p.m. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook
and on Twitter using the #EdShow.

We`re coming right back.


SCHULTZ: Thanks for staying with us tonight.

If we want sensible gun legislation in this country and we need to
understand what we`re really up against, what is the mentality out there?
That means talking about people like James Yeager. He is a gun enthusiast
and former military contractor in Iraq. He threatened to, quote, "start
killing people if the president issued an executive order on gun control."

We asked him to come on our program tonight. And first he agreed, but
then he said his lawyer was against it.

Tonight, Talking Points Memo reports that the Tennessee -- the state
of Tennessee suspended Yeager`s carry permit. Now he is trying to tone his
message down a bit.


JAMES YEAGER, GUN ENTHUSIAST: I do not condone anybody committing any
kind of felonies unless it`s necessary. Right now it is not necessary.

Start working out. Start stretching. Start practicing.


SCHULTZ: Yeager is not alone. He is just one in a crowd of
extremists who think that they speak for all gun owners across America and
Second Amendment lovers.

Right wingers at the drudge report compared the president to Hitler
and Stalin. Really? Yes.

Another gun advocate used slavery to make his case against gun


WARD: If African-Americans had been given the right to keep and bear
arms from day one of the country`s founding, perhaps slavery might not have
been a chapter in our history.


SCHULTZ: We`ll talk more about slavery and guns in a moment.

First, you should know, Larry Ward is pushing a national Gun
Appreciation Day. It`s on the weekend before Martin Luther King Day. Ward
claims this is the first Gun Appreciation Day. But we found Gun
Appreciation Days dating back to 1995. This was the year the Oklahoma
City, right after Congress passed the assault weapons ban.

By the way, that`s convicted felon G. Gordon Liddy at the podium --
remember, he told people to, quote, "go for a head shot if the ATF agents
came to take their guns."

His brand of crazy is alive and well.


REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: They want to pick on the bastard
child of the Bill of Rights which is the Second Amendment, and it`s not
going to happen, not on my watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama operatives in the Congress have introduced
more than 10 bills that would end the Second Amendment as we know it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don`t need much to take advantage of a
tragedy to further their political goals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t do this. And it`s just endless.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just total absolute tyranny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don`t belong in the NRA, you need to get on
the phone and use your credit card and become a member within the next 24
hours. You`re going have to go in the NRA, whether you like it or not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): I`ll give you my semiautomatics when you
pry from my cold dead hands.


SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC political analyst
and professor of sociology at Georgetown University.

Professor, the rhetoric is getting hot.


SCHULTZ: Is it good for the discussion? Is it good for America? Can
we make any sense out of this?

DYSON: The ratcheting up of this conversation is dangerous. It
really presages I think an all-out war against vulnerable people who are
rendered even more vulnerable because gun nuts think they have to be armed,
aiming at targets that are already marginal in this culture in terms of
their standing. And they pick the groups that are least likely to offer
rebuttal to them.

For instance, speaking about African-American people or talk about
women and Latinos, these minority groups are not more likely to be viewed
as legitimate possessors of guns to begin with. So when you ratchet the
conversation up to this degree and you falsely claim that these people are
the people you have to be concerned about, and Obama is trying to reject
the Second Amendment, and the people who look like him are the problems,
this is a deeply classed, gendered, racialized assault upon people and upon
people of goodwill in America who simply want to have sensible and sane gun
policy in the place of this maniacal focus of the defense of the gun.

SCHULTZ: Professor, is it at a new level when the Drudge Report,
which is accessed by millions of conservatives in this country, to see
murderous individuals such as Stalin and Hitler and the president of the
United States, the inference there being aligned with these men.

DYSON: Of course.

SCHULTZ: These psychopaths of another generation.


SCHULTZ: What has the president of the United States done to deserve
that, number one? And secondly, how are people supposed to respond to
that? Are they looking for a reaction? Are they stirring the pot by doing
something so outrageous as that?

DYSON: Well, first of all, the president has done nothing more than
exists. That is the problem. The right wing in this country has taken out
-- has in one sense become so outraged with Obama`s presence that they will
go to any length possible to try to eradicate, erase, or somehow undermine
him, to try to convince Americans that he`s not one of us, that he is
trying to take our rights away, our guns away, and therefore take this
country away. And what we, the right wing have to do is to take it back.

And even extra legal measures here, even though this man in your
report was calmed down a bit by his lawyers and he retracted a bit, the
reality is, is that they are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to
prove that Obama is the enemy of all that is good. And the parallel,
drawing the parallel between Obama and Hitler and Stalin and the like is
playing fast and loose with the truth.

But, you know, most people in America don`t have the kind of refined
political sensibilities that allowed them to interpret facts for
themselves. They are just led on by the images. And the very thing that
Hitler was brilliant at, that is manipulating imagery to drum up and gin up
the emotions of people is what they`re doing. They`re talking against
Hitler, and yet they`re using some of his same tactics.

SCHULTZ: A former president of the NRA says tougher laws discriminate
against certain guns. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Banning people and things because of the way
they look went out a long time ago. But here they are again. The color of
a gun, the way it looks.


SCHULTZ: Your reaction to that.

DYSON: First of all, that`s ludicrous. To try to draw a parallel
between color discrimination and applying that to guns is a reaching very
far. The metaphor fails. The analogy doesn`t walk on all fours.

The problem here is that most of the people who are against sensible,
sane policy, who are in the embrace of the NRA and who believe that the
possession of a gun is to be the be all and end all of American society are
the problem here. No one is trying to take guns. No one is trying to
reject the possibility that Americans can own guns. But the worship of
guns at the altar of the gun is the problem here.


DYSON: And drawing a parallel between Martin Luther King Jr. and, you
know, his birthday and the appreciation for guns -- let`s be honest: Martin
Luther King Jr. owned a gun early on in his career before (INAUDIBLE) Cain
came to Montgomery, taught him the ways of nonviolence. He put the gun
down. He subjected himself to the force of every evil in the country.

And the reality is, Martin Luther King, Jr. would never substantiate
the claim that we must own guns. He said, put them down.

SCHULTZ: Michael Eric Dyson, you answered my final question. It is
great to have you with us tonight on this Friday night --

DYSON: Thank you, my man.

SCHULTZ: -- on this is very intense subject. I appreciate it.

Next, we`ll hear more from Congressman Phil Gingrey. This time, he is
out defending Todd Akin`s views on legitimate rape. Karen Finney will
weigh in.

And later, I`ll tell you why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the
most important man in Washington right now. Stay tuned.


SCHULTZ: And we are back.

In addition to causing headaches for the GOP on gun control,
Congressman Phil Gingrey of Georgia is also defending his friend, Todd
Akin. Just months after Todd Akin`s views on legitimate rape cost him the
Senate race and cost the GOP control of the Senate, Gingrey told a crowd at
a local Chamber of Commerce event that Akin is partially right when it
comes to a woman`s ability to prevent a pregnancy caused by a so-called
legitimate rape.


GINGREY: What he meant by a legitimate rape was that, look, someone
can say I was raped, a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated
by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, you know, that`s pretty
tough and might on some occasions say hey, I was raped. That`s what he
meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape.

I don`t find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and
said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman`s body has
a way of shutting down so that pregnancy would not occur. He is partly
right on that.


SCHULTZ: So why would anyone listen to Phil Gingrey spout off
scientifically inaccurate assertions about a woman`s body? For starters,
he is the co-chair of the House GOP`s Doctors Caucus. And oh, yeah, he is
also a practicing OBGYN.


GINGREY: And I`ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these
things. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble
conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, just relax. Drink a glass
of wine, and don`t be so tense and uptight. Because all that adrenaline
can cause you not to ovulate.

So he was partially right, wasn`t he? And yet the media took that and
tore it apart.


SCHULTZ: Gingrey now says his words have been misconstrued, and he
was not defending Akin or failed Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.
"At a breakfast yesterday morning, I was asked why Democrats made abortion
a central theme of the presidential campaign. I do not defend, nor do I
stand by the remarks made by Representative Akin or Dr. Mourdock. In my
attempt to provide context as to what I presumed they meant, my position
was misconstrued."

I am joined tonight by Karen Finney, MSNBC political analyst and
former communications director of the DNC. How insulting is it?

just don`t stop, do they? Wow. You know, first of all, I don`t think this
man should go anywhere near any female`s body ever again, because that
level of ignorance is dangerous, as we`ve seen before. It`s insulting.
But it also -- you know what, Ed? It shows us that the Republican party,
they still have this problem that, you know, they`re trying to tamp down
some of these guys and say hey, just don`t talk about it.

But certainly somebody who is a doctor, who is part of a caucus who is
then thinking about policy that affects women`s lives is someone who is in
a position to make very dangerous decisions. And so regardless of even if
they get him to change, you know, the talking points, from a policy
standpoint, this guy is just as misguided and, you know, sort of ignorant
about women`s bodies as the rest of them.

SCHULTZ: Is there anything he said there that would have been
misconstrued? I mean, forget the question.


SCHULTZ: I mean, the context of what he said spoke very clear to you
as a woman.

FINNEY: It was very clear to me. You know, trying to suggest that,
you know, a teenager who has sex with her boyfriend and gets pregnant and
then -- that that somehow is what Akin meant by legitimate versus
illegitimate rape, that is just disgusting. I mean, that is on so many

And this idea that like, if I`m stressed, I should just have a glass
of wine and calm down and that`s the way to get pregnant? I mean, if that
worked, Ed, the IVF industry would go out of business.

SCHULTZ: Once again, the real views of the GOP on full display, no
question about it. He also went on to say that he thinks that the
Democrats kept the Senate because of Akin`s and Mourdock`s comments. He
also told the crowd that Mitt Romney pretty much was not the guy, said he
didn`t help very much. So he had quite a day in front of this crowd down
in Georgia.

FINNEY: But they`re also trying to suggest that Democrats are trying
to force Republicans into talking about rape. And I think as this comment
makes pretty clear, and Akin and Mourdock, they brought it up. I mean, we
didn`t -- they brought up it as part of a conversation. Nobody is forcing
them to talk about this.

And you know, again, it shows this idea about the war on women
continues. What else happened this week? We had Paul Ryan introduce a
fetal personhood bill. We know that Marsha Blackburn introduced
legislation to again defund Planned Parenthood. So it`s just more of the
same, right back where we started.

SCHULTZ: Karen Finney, great to have you with us. Thank you so much
for joining us tonight.

There is a lot more coming up in the next half hour of THE ED SHOW.
Stay with us.

The key to filibuster reform could all be in Harry Reid`s hands.
Howard Dean gives us the outlook next.


NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: A trillion dollar coin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One trillion dollar platinum coin

position on this trillion dollar coin business?


SCHULTZ: And we`ll tell you the real facts on the trillion dollar
coin. Here is a hint, it doesn`t equal the weight of 89 blue whales.

Junior Seau`s brain exam was a powerful wake-up call. And Chris
Nowinski of the Sports Legacy Institute is taking the NFL to task.



REID: They`re filibustering until we have to change the rules. We
can`t go on like this anymore. I don`t want to get rid of the filibuster,
but I have to tell you, I want to change the rules and make the filibuster
meaningful. It can be done if Obama`s re-elected and I still have the
majority. We can do it with a simple majority at the beginning of the


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid promising to pass filibuster reform at the beginning of the 113th
Congress. That was on my radio show back in July. Well, President Obama
has been reelected. The Democrats held on to a simple majority in the
Senate. So it`s time.

So by Reid`s account, the time for real reform is on January 22nd when
the Senate votes on the congressional sessions rule book, which is why
Harry Reid is the most important man in American politics right now.
Senate Republicans of the 112th Congress used and abused the filibuster as
a tool for the minority to prevent the will of the majority. And it`s
looking like the 113th Congress couldn`t be any different.

Just take a look at Republican opposition to President Obama`s recent
cabinet nominations. Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama issued a
statement saying that Jack Lew must never be secretary of the Treasury.
Sessions has made the rounds publicly opposing Lew`s nomination and expects
it to fail in the Senate.

Qualified nominees like Jack Lew and Chuck Hagel continue to be
targeted by Republicans willing to block anything President Obama puts
forward. The GOP`s threat make an excellent case for why Democrats must
take action on filibuster reform.

I`m joined tonight by Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont and
former chair of the DNC. Governor Dean, good to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: You bet. Is this just something Harry Reid has to do? I
mean, if you look at taxation --

DEAN: Yeah.

SCHULTZ: -- if you look at gun legislation, how could any of this not
get filibustered based on what we saw in the 112th?

DEAN: Actually, the filibuster is designed to thwart the will of the
majority. But the problem is not that. Because our Constitution protects
the minority, which is a good thing. The problem is the Republicans have
made it a farce, and basically brought the business of the entire
government to a halt.

So that`s why it must be changed. I`m not for getting rid of it, but
I am for changing it dramatically so it can`t be abused anymore. There are
some really important things that face this country. Very little was done
in the last two years. And that`s because the Republicans believed that if
they could win the election if they did nothing, they put their party ahead
of their country.

That must not be allowed to happen again. And the filibuster has to
be changed.

SCHULTZ: Democratic proposal would force senators who filibuster to
actually speak on the floor. Why do you think that`s so important? I know
why. Your opinion on that.

DEAN: Well, it`s important for two reasons. First of all, of course,
they`ll eventually get worn out if there is not enough of them. And
secondly, it will show the American people who is obstructing the business
of the public. And that`s really important. We need more transparency in
the Senate. The Senate rules are arcane. And they`re now unfair to the
American people.

SCHULTZ: Doesn`t President Obama deserve his agenda to be debated on
the Senate floor? He has won two elections.

DEAN: Yes.

SCHULTZ: A landslide in the electoral college. Wins by four million
votes in the popular vote. I mean, wouldn`t Harry Reid be, of sorts,
abdicating his responsibilities if he did not change the rules?

DEAN: I don`t think this is going to be Harry Reid. I think Harry
Reid will do the right thing and try to get it changed. The problem is
there are some Democrats who may not agree with him. We`ve got to hold
those Democrats accountable. There is no point having Democrats in the
Senate if they don`t act like Democrats.

SCHULTZ: What do you know about McCain and Levin getting together to
introduce a rival proposal on filibuster reform? It`s not the same thing.
Some say it`s a gift to Republicans. Do you agree?

DEAN: I don`t know. Let`s see what it looks like. All I know is the
talking part is really important. We`ve got to have transparency. We`ve
got to find out exactly who it is that is obstructing what the American
people want to do, first of all. And second of all, it has to be fair.

I understand that we shouldn`t get rid of the filibuster entirely,
because the Constitution does protect the rights of the minority. But when
a tool that is designed to protect minority opinion is used to advance a
particular party, then that tool has to be changed. I`m willing to look at
McCain/Levin. I want to see the right thing done. And I do trust Harry
Reid on this. He knows the rules. He has been a decent lead. And he`s
got to get the votes for this.

SCHULTZ: Governor Dean, we`ve been talking about gun laws. Vice
President Biden has worked pretty hard on this in a very intense effort
this week. How could any gun laws get passed if we don`t move on the
filibuster, if Harry Reid doesn`t move on the filibuster in the Senate?

DEAN: I think there will be a lot of stuff that doesn`t get passed
that isn`t right. The American people, again, deserve to see what happens
here and to see who is blocking the will of the people. And then they can
take that to the ballot box in 2014. And that`s why I think the
Republicans are obstructing once again, because they believe by obstruction
they can win elections.

They`re wrong. They were wrong in this past election. All they`ve
done is hurt the country for two years.

SCHULTZ: Governor Dean, you`re a doctor. What did you think of
Congressman Phil Gingrey`s comments in the previous segment?

DEAN: I think he is probably not qualified to practice medicine. For
the first time, I`ve been glad that Phil Gingrey is in Congress because
that means he`s not treating patients. If that`s what he believes medicine
-- that`s an old paternalistic way, that old male gynecologists used to
treat women. And that`s why most women don`t go to male gynecologists

It`s an appalling lack of knowledge of medicine, the basics of

SCHULTZ: Howard Dean, great to have you with us on THE ED SHOW
tonight. Thank you.

Next, a top economist says President Obama should go for the platinum
coin option if Republicans try to hold the country hostage over the debt
ceiling. We`ll bring you the details. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: And of course, we love hearing from our viewers on Twitter
and our Facebook page. Many of you are responding to my interview last
night with Bill McGee, a parent who opposes arming teachers in his
children`s school.

On Facebook, Peggy Clay writes "if having armed teachers in school is
such a brilliant idea, why hide it from the parents?" Good question.

Arnold Scheinberg suggests that "if we are going to arm teachers, send
them to West Point instead of normal colleges. Then we will have qualified

And Elaine Violet, a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, says
"guns in school is asking for a disaster. Everyone needs to calm down and
be rational. Good God, has everyone lost it?"

Keep sharing your thoughts with us and like us on Facebook and on
Twitter using the hash tag #EdShow.

Still to come, protecting athletes from brain injuries. I`ll talk
with Chris Nowinski of Boston University about their research on CTE and
what needs to be done to make sports across the board safer.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. President Obama can simply go
platinum if Republicans hold America hostage with the debt ceiling. The
president can legally call on the Treasury Department to mint a trillion
dollar platinum coin to pay off the country`s debts. The coin must be
platinum. It can be any size, and it can be assigned a trillion dollar

This is kind of a crazy option, but then again Republicans holding
America hostage over the debt ceiling is even crazier. Some economists
think the platinum coin could send the economy into a tailspin. But others
think it`s a great idea.

Pulitzer Prize winning economist Paul Krugman said President Obama
should absolutely mint the coin if Republicans try to force America into
default. Krugman also said that John Boehner`s face should be on the coin
because without him, the coin wouldn`t be needed.

Meanwhile, Republicans have been lying to Americans on the debt
ceiling for weeks. And now the Fox News misinformation machine in high
gear, hitting the platinum coin issue. Neil Cavuto put up this misleading
graphic during his show on Thursday. It claimed the coin would weigh
17,000 tons, about the weight of 89 blue whales, and be the size of a
nuclear submarine?

Well, the graphic is all wrong. The coin can be any size and be given
any denomination. This is just the latest example of Republican
misinformation on the debt ceiling. Mitch McConnell was wrong when he
claimed President Obama wanted to raise the debt ceiling so he could spend
more money. John Cornyn was wrong when he said shutting down the
government over the debt ceiling would be good for the country.

And now Neil Cavuto`s graphic is joining the club in the fraternal
order. It`s important to remember any information from Republicans on the
debt ceiling must be taken with a serious grain of salt.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you will the Obama administration get
gun legislation passed? Eighty four percent of you say yes; 16 percent of
you say no.

Coming up, big hits in the National Football League are bringing the
issue of brain disease, CTE, front and center when it comes to the big
discussion on health in the league. I`ll talk to the co-director of the
leading CTE research facility in the country. Stay with us. That`s next.


SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, new details in the death of
12-time Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau are bringing attention to the
dangerous disease affecting some athletes. When Junior Seau ended his life
last year, he was suffering from a brain condition known as CTE. CTE is a
brain disease associated with athletes who take frequent hits to the head.

Over time, these hits cause the brain to build up abnormal protein.
On the left side of your screen you can see a cross section of a normal
brain. On the right side is a brain from a 73-year-old boxer showing signs
of CTE. Symptoms of CTE include memory loss, impaired judgment,
aggression, depression, and eventually dementia.

Researchers at Boston University pioneered the study of CTE. They
found the disease in 18 of 19 brains of former NFL players they examined.
Our next guest is the co-director of Boston University`s program, Chris
Nowinski. He played football at Harvard University and has his own history
of concussions from his pro wrestling days.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And making his way to the ring, weighing in at
260 pounds, Christopher Nowinski!

wrestling career. I actually have some of my concussions captured, which
is nice.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is he doing?

NOWINSKI: I had depression problems. I had short-term memory that
was terrible for a year and a half. I kept sleepwalking for three and a
half years and needed medication. I had headaches for five. That`s when I
decided maybe there was something wrong with my brain.


SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight, Chris Nowinski, co-director of the
Center for Study of CTE at Boston University and author of "Head Games:
Football`s Concussion Crisis." Chris, great to have you with us tonight on
the program.

How many athletes in all contact sports do you think are suffering
from CTE?

NOWINSKI: Oh, we can`t actually diagnosis the disease in living
people right now. So we don`t know. But we do know is that 34 of the 35
NFL players that we have studied have had the disease, as well as nine of
nine college players. We found it as young as people of 17 when they
passed away. So it`s out there if you have been hit in the head a lot and
played a lot of contact sports for many years.

SCHULTZ: NFL players, are they cooperating with this? Is this on
their radar screen? Are they really paying attention to what has happened?

NOWINSKI: Retired players, absolutely. We have hundreds signed up
for our brain donation registry. They`re looking for treatment for this
disease. The active players, not so much. Very few are involved in our
research, and very few are outspoken on this issue.

SCHULTZ: A lot of focus is on professional athletes taking really big
hits. But I want to play a clip of a video that you put online. Here it





SCHULTZ: Those kids were eight years old. What has to be done for a
younger players to prevent CTE?

NOWINSKI: Well, we have to start by reconsidering, you know, what the
child`s brain is really like. We know that the young brain is more
vulnerable to brain trauma. So I watch this from my perspective today and
wonder, you know, if we know the NFL is dangerous, and we know we actually
have to pay these athletes millions of dollars to expose them to the damage
they take, how are we playing the exact same game with eight-year-olds,
when we give them none of the protects that we give the NFL players?

They don`t have doctors. They don`t have restrictions on hitting. In
the NFL, you can only hit 14 days during the season. In high school, they
just added in some states like Illinois 20 days of extra hitting in the
summer. So we have to really pay attention to what sort of brain trauma
children really should be taking in all sports in this country.

SCHULTZ: And -- and of course one of the symptoms is depression and
aggression. Six NFL players have ended their lives in the past two years
alone. Depression is a symptom of CTE. Do you think that there is a
correlation between CTE and suicide?

NOWINSKI: You know, it`s really difficult to say at this stage of the
game. You can never really correlate a disease with a specific act like
that. Certainly there is some logic to you`re depressed, you have impulse
control problems. But in a lot of the cases, what you really saw was their
life fall apart. The disease affected their behavior, alienated them from
their families. Some of them lost businesses, like Dave Duwerson (ph), and
ended up 20 million dollars in debt, as he was.

So it`s hard to know. We definitely want athletes to know who are
maybe in debt, considering that, that there is help. You can get some
treatment that will make you feel better. And we`re working as rapidly as
we can on a treatment that will actually slow or stop the disease.

SCHULTZ: Gosh, you look at an NFL game today, it`s like a train wreck
every play. I mean, the contact is unbelievably brutal. The players are
faster, stronger, more advanced in their training. Do you think the NFL
has an obligation to do more to prevent CTE?

NOWINSKI: Yes, absolutely. I mean, a few years ago, as you know, we
fought about whether even CTE was real. Now the NFL has made probably more
changes to their game than just about any other professional sport. And
now they`re funding a lot of research. They just donated 30 million
dollars to is the NIH Foundation. They`ve led some of the fights for state
laws that require education on concussions. And you have to see a doctor.

So it`s -- but we need to do a lot more because we don`t even have our
arms wrapped around this problem at all.

SCHULTZ: All right, Chris Nowinski, great to have you with us on THE
ED SHOW tonight. Thank you. That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE
RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.


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