THE ED SHOW
September 23, 2013
Guest: Charles Rangel, EJ Dionne, Mark Potok, Ruth Conniff, Virgil
Bernero, Mitch Ceasar, Leo Gerard
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF DUNCAN (R), SOUTH CAROLINA CONGRESSMAN: I would rather shut the
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Just try to
make an ideological point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I call it the Limbaugh Theorem.
CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI SENATOR: I don`t think in America, we
should throw tantrums.
WILL FERRELL: Oh, I`m in a glass case of emotion.
TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS SENATOR: I believe we can win this fight.
NANCY PELOSI: To burn down what we should be building up.
TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS SENATOR: Senate Republican should stand united.
PELOSI: I call them legislative arsonist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good to have you with us tonight folks.
Thanks for watching. This is a follow up to Friday night`s program when I
talked about the moral compass of America, and this is right at the heart
of what the Republican Party is doing when it comes to threatening to shut
down that government, when it comes to defunding ObamaCare, when it comes
to go after poor people on food stamps, they have spent more time telling
Americans what they are against instead of porting what they are actually
And I think America is starting to wake up and realize how this
republican plan to defund ObamaCare is morally bankrupt. The republicans
are willing to shut down the government to deny 30 million American`s
healthcare. Obviously, the democrats are outraged and most Americans are.
They wasted no time calling out republicans on their reckless behavior over
the weekend. On Sunday, democratic leader Nancy Pelosi sounded kind of
like a talking head on the cables when she said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: Let`s be really clear about this. These republicans put
legislation on the floor that was intended to shut down government. For
them, that`s a victory because they`re antigovernment ideals (ph). I call
them legislative arsonist. They`re their to burn down what we should be
building up in terms of investments and education and the scientific
research and all that it is that make our country great. This is totally
irresponsible, completely juvenile, and as I called it legislative arson.
It`s just destructive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Legislative arsonist. I like it. I wonder if that was
focused group. Probably not, it`s from the heart for the democratic
leader. The man behind this entire mass couldn`t be more irresponsible
when it comes to representing people. Canadian Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
is trying to spin the story and blame the possible government shut down on
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: Look, the House voted last week to fund the Federal Government.
If Harry Reid kills that, Harry Reid is responsible for shutting down the
government and he should listen to the American people, open the
government, fund the government, but don`t fund ObamaCare because it`s
hurting the American people, it`s not working.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: A total land of bull right out of a Texas field along with
all the droppings. Make no mistake. Harry Reid should take absolutely no
blame if a government shuts down. If there is a government shut down, all
the blame is going to be solely on Ted Cruz and his radical tea party
friends. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill said Cruz is just throwing a
bunch of Americans under the bus for its own political gain and
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCASKILL: I cannot believe that they are going to throw a tantrum
and throw the American people in our economic recovery under the bus. This
is about running for a president with Ted Cruz, this isn`t about meaningful
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This is where it gets interesting and highly unusual. It`s
not just democrats who are fuming at Cruz right now. Many republicans
think Cruz`s reckless behavior will eventually hurt the party down the road
in the midterms and maybe even on the long run. Fox News Sunday Host Chris
Wallace, this is the first. He said republicans were e-mailing him this
week telling him to just hammer Cruz on the show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: This has been one of the strangest
weeks I`ve ever had in Washington and I say that because as soon as we
listed Ted Cruz as our featured guest this week, I got unsolicited,
research, and questions not from democrats but from top republicans who --
to hammer Cruz.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: On top of all of this, it`s clear that Senator John McCain
is no fun of Mr. Cruz. GQ Magazine recently wrote a profile of Cruz titled
"Ted Cruz: The Disguised Wacko Bird From Texas." Well, in the article, one
of McCain`s staffers told GQ Magazine, the senator "He F hates Cruz. He`s
just offended by his style." Don`t you find that rather interesting? The
senator that brought Sarah Palin on to the national scene as a candidate
for the vice presidency all of a sudden is upset with the style of this guy
named Ted Cruz.
It was John McCain who legitimized the thinking of these whackos that
have brought us this kind of politics today. And for McCain to try to wash
his hands in this saying that he just F hates Cruz, that ain`t going to
work. Mr. McCain, you`re all a part of it as well. Now, the other thing
that I want to bring up about the moral compass of all of this is something
that we talked about on this program, and for McCain to try to wash his
hands in this saying that he just F hates Cruz, that ain`t going to work.
Mr. McCain, you`re all a part of it as well. Now, the other thing that I
want to bring up about the moral compass of all of this is something that
we talked about on this program on Friday night.
All of these republicans including Cruz who claims to be a Born Again
Christian, who claims to be an Evangelical Christian, is running around
taking healthcare away from Americans, also saying that, you know, we got
to cut the food stamp program, let`s shut down the government, all of
things that are morally bankrupt, all things that certainly you won`t find
in the bible, the book of faith.
So on Friday, I asked our audience, go out and check with your faith
leader, your pastor and have this moral question with him. Well, I did my
homework. I went fishing with my pastor on Saturday and we had quite a
conversation. And then on Sunday, for the first time in 20 years, I went
to a Catholic mass, and low and behold, the priest in little old Detroit
Lakes, Minnesota at the Holy Rosary Parish, the priest is talking about
social and economic justice and saying that there is a new direction of the
Catholic Church being pushed forward by Pope Francis who is actually
addressing income inequality in America. And he`s talking about a renewed
focus on the poor.
So, if you`re Catholic, this is just one faith in America. Maybe you
should reconnect with your representative and find out if they`re Catholic
and where they stand on voting food stamps away from poor Americans,
shutting down the government to hurt families, taking healthcare away from
30 million Americans. It that Christian? No. It`s morally bankrupt and
it isn`t backed up in scripture as some of it say it is. This is political
quicksand for republicans that`s going to have a real bad political ending.
We just have to (inaudible) through the forest right now and I can
guarantee you one thing, there will be a political fallout to all of this.
These votes that they are taking to pick on the poor, to deny people
healthcare, will pay a price in a long run. The republicans will.
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think tonight`s
question. Will republican`s lack of moral authority on healthcare ever
change? Text A for Yes, text B for No at 67622. You can always go to our
blog at ed.msnbc.com. We`ll bring the results later on, on the show. Let
me bring in two of the finest. Tonight, we are joined by New York
Congressman Charlie Rangel. Also with us tonight is E.J. Dionne of the
Washington Post. Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.
My faith leader tells me that there is no scripture that backs up any
other votes that these people are talking about. And Congressman, the only
reason why I bring this up is because you have to go into the file bank and
look at all of these floor speeches that republicans are giving. The
meanie (ph) doesn`t do the story justice. Very seldom that we talk about
how often the republicans in vote (ph) but on the House floor when they`re
making a statement. Congressman, how can the republicans still claim to
have the moral and religious high ground with the way they vote?
REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: Ed, it`s been weeks, months, and
years and you have hit it and I think the pope has heard you. He has
expressed himself and I don`t care whether you`re a Catholic or Protestant,
Jew or Gentile, Mormon, this is the time. Anyone that`s familiar what the
bible, anything like that, when Jesus said that you`re going straight to
hell if you didn`t treat the less of his brothers and sisters, and what did
he say, he said he was hungry. They give him food stamps. He was thirsty,
you didn`t purify the water. That he is naked, he gives some (ph)
security. And God knows he was sick, and you gave him no comfort.
Can you imagine if 60 million Catholics became missionaries just for
the poor, the sick, and the uninsured, and then the Jewish community, and
the Protestant community, nobody likes that the congress is doing nothing.
A handful of people who drink the Cool Aid is ruining our country, and the
moral compass is certainly to be is going to them. They have been called
by a higher authority. I think this is the beginning of a new era. I
really hope and pray that it is.
SCHULTZ: Well, I think that Pope Francis, it would be (inaudible),
the timing would be perfect. If he were to come to the United States,
first stop Washington D.C. and talk about moral and social commitment and
having it being faith based. E.J. Dionne, the pope is putting a renewed
focus on the poor and is speaking directly the income inequality. This was
the sermon that he gave over the weekend. What does this mean for
E.J. DIONNE: I don`t know what it means for republicans. I think it
means great things for the world and great things for the Catholic Church
because he has thrown the doors open of the church and saying, "We want to
work with everybody on behalf of justice." And he has been incredibly
pointed in his comments about helping the poor but also about broader
injustices in the economy. And I think this is going to make a difference
in the world.
I do think we ought to arrange for Senator Cruz to get some kind of
brotherhood award, because Ted Cruz is bringing Fox News together with you,
he`s bringing Nancy Pelosi together with John McCain. And if I could just
make one point about Republicans, if you look at this state level, there
are a lot of Republican governors who are accepting the expansion of
Medicaid because they know it`s good for the uninsured in their states,
it`s good for hospitals.
I was in Ohio last week, and Governor John Kasich who took a weekend
on the labor issue in that referendum when he went after the unions, he
seems to have had some second thoughts and he`s fighting like crazy for
expanding Medicaid against his legislature. He told the legislature that
when you get to the gates of heaven, St. Peter isn`t going to ask you if
you balanced the budget, he`s going to ask you what you did for the poor,
Governor Kasich is sounding like Pope Francis which is I suppose maybe .
SCHULTZ: No doubt about it.
DIONNE: . his first -- for the Pope`s first miracle.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, is a shutdown likely? What do you see as the
scenario on folding ahead?
RANGEL: You know, basically, the Republicans are decent people. It`s
tailed (ph) its wagon the door to leadership would be lost without their
support. But I do believe if they`re concern at all about our great
country, they are not prepared to have an economic disaster and say almost
at the last time. And closing down the government politically is bad. But
worst than that, the number of hospitals that take care of the sick and the
poor that won`t be able to get meals, what it would damage in terms of the
heart of America.
I don`t think the Tea party has that much strength to control
Republicans who now expressing themselves against Cruz, but it`s not Cruz.
He really doesn`t count, his frustration in the House Republican Party and
they want out of this trap but they don`t want to give up their leadership
and they don`t want to give up that majority. But believe me, they`re not
insane. They won`t close down the government and they`re not prepared to
bring international, national, physical chaos.
SCHULTZ: OK. So Congressman, do you think that this Party is
starting to unravel? I mean, do you think that they`ll do irreparable harm
to their party if they do shut it down, Charlie?
RANGEL: Big businesses, you know, they`re making profits that are not
(ph) seen because this is America but they know that if the physical (ph)
credibility of this country is shut, you bet your life they`ll be making
RANGEL: And I truly believe that each one of the issues we`re talking
about moral issues. And sooner or later, the church who knows how to get
behind same sex marriage, they know exactly what they have to do without
cost insured. The line (ph), and I am convinced that if enough Americans,
say we`ve had enough of this, that`s kind of pressure is going to make more
than just who`s the leader in the House or the Senate.
SCHULTZ: And E.J. Dionne, 59 percent of Americans don`t want
ObamaCare defunded, but they just won`t get off of this. And will
republicans take the blame if there is a shutdown because you hear the
narrative right now, already Cruz and some of the others are saying, "Well,
it`s a Harry Reid`s fault." The president -- I heard one conservative
commentator last week talk about how actually President Obama wants a
shutdown. I mean, they`re trying to reverse this thing around a big way,
although (ph) majority of Americans don`t want it, why are they selling
DIONNE: Well, I think they can`t get out of responsibility for the
shutdown because it is an incredibly unusual and that`s mild for a party
after a peace legislation is passed to use a shutdown of the government or
the Dead Ceiling, you know, and possibility of physical chaos, of economic
chaos as a way of repealing a bill of that`s already passed. The other
thing is, the republicans kind of got branded as the Shutdown Party back in
the 1990`s. And like it or not .
SCHULTZ: Didn`t do many good then either?
DIONNE: What? No. It didn`t do them many good then. And because
the public associates the word "shutdown" with what looking what
(inaudible) congress did back then, I just don`t see how they can get out
from under it and you got all these leading republicans like Karl Rove
among others saying, "We don`t want to do this because we will take the
blame." So yes, they`re trying to figure a way around it but I think most
of them know they`re going to, again, hit pretty hard I think shuts down
SCHULTZ: Congressman Charles Rangel, E.J. Dionne of Washington Post,
great to have both of you with us. Thanks so much for joining me tonight.
I appreciate it. Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom
of the screen. We want to get your thoughts on Twitter as well and Ed Show
and on Facebook. Like us on Facebook. And we always want to know what you
think. Up next, Nazis on the prairie. Yeah, a small town in North Dakota
becomes the center of a big fight against racism. We got the details.
Mark Potok is with us tonight with the Southern Poverty Law Center, and
they have fought President Obama`s policies for years. Now they`re trying
to take credit form, the rapid response panel takes on more GOP Hypocrisy
SCHULTZ: What`s hot, what`s not, time now for the trenders. The Ed
Show social media nation has decided and we`re reporting. Here are today`s
top trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At Dairy Queen, we don`t stop at good enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number three trender, Minnesota nice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joey Prusak`s saw the women scaled $20 from a
blind customer to Dairy Queen where he works. As (inaudible) she`s going
to give it back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then Joey saw her put it in her purse.
PRUSAK: I was like, "Ma`am, I`m not going to serve someone as
disrespectful as you".
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joey gave the man $20 out of his own pocket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At Dairy Queen, manager`s good deed is getting a
lot of attention.
PRUSAK: He just called the Dairy Queen phone that is, "Joey there?"
This is Warren Buffet. And he said that he was like to have me come down
in May when they have their meetings down in Texas. He said "Hopefully, me
and you could go and get some ice cream together." I said, "All right,
that sounds like a plan."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number two trender, Sarah says.
PALIN: Someday I`m actually going to tell American what I really
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Palin becomes a Ted Cruz coconspirator.
PALIN: We finally have a tool to be able to take steps to refill in
that unfunding ObamaCare. Now the GOP elephants that would turn on someone
who`s trying to fight for the will of the people, Ted first and more of
those good guys needs some reinforcements in the mid term election. I
don`t know if it`ll necessarily be me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks but no thanks.
SCHULTZ: And today`s top trender, Herming Lee (ph), the town of
Leith, North Dakota has a population of 19 people. Craig Paul Cobb was to
set up a racists Utopia. Cobb has been called one of the most extreme
white supremacist and Neo-Nazis in the country.
CRAIG PAUL COBB: There`s no doubt we`ll be the majority on Leith with
only question of when.
SCHULTZ: Progressives on the prairie stand up against hate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 150 Native Americans and over 100 North Dakotans
stood up against racism.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know that white supremacist don`t respect us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Protesters made it clear they`re not finished
trying to prevent a white rights group from taking over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These streets are our streets, the American people
streets they are not the streets of the Nazis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m an American. They don`t represent America.
They`re proud of people represents America.
SCHUTLZ: Joining us tonight, Mark Potok, Senior Fellow at the
Southern Poverty Law Center. The story broke up when again over the
weekend Mr. Potok, because the head of the National American Socialist
Party or whatever it`s called went there to look and see if this was going
to be feasible. There`s Jeff Schoep who is the leader of National
Socialist Movement who had this to say about Cobb`s plan. He says, we have
to start somewhere. So, if we start at small towns and spread out from
there it`s sort of a test ground, in that sense where if we`re able to get
off the ground here, then we`re able to get off the ground in other places.
You saw the video tape of the reactions of some 200 Native Americans
were out there this weekend in a small town of Leith, North Dakota in the
Southwestern portion of the state. I`ve been in that portion of the state
numerous times. It is not very populated. It`s one of the least populated
counties in the entire country. What`s your reaction to that statement and
how these folks just don`t seem to be giving up on their mission?
MARK POTOK, SENIOR FELLOW AT THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: Well I
think maybe the most important thing to say about that is that this has
been an ongoing attempt by members of the white supremacist right gone back
at least 20 years, probably closer to 30. This idea of creating all white
enclaves, for a long time they use to talk about the northwestern Perative
and that was the idea that basically was born in the area nation. So up in
Idaho that white people could no longer save the whole country that they
therefore ought to retreat to the most white corner of the country meaning,
the Pacific Northwest and create their own essentially nation.
This is part of a project that comes a little later on called Pioneer
Little Europe. The idea being to create little tiny towns, one by one, it
has been singularly unsuccessful. This is probably the most dramatic
attempt we`ve actually seen somebody come in and buy a property but I
expect in the end, this too will fail.
SCHULTZ: Well, this Mr. Cobb, Craig Cobb says that he is taking
inquiries from all over the country of people who were interested in buying
property. This concept of buying property has somewhat caught the emotions
of a lot of this supremacist. Does this change the dynamic in your
POTOK: Well, what changes the dynamic is the property up there is
incredibly cheap. Cobb bought something like a dozen properties for as
little as 500 dollars a piece. You know, it is widely considered, Leith is
widely considered to be a ghost town so people who do own property are
doubtless, anxious to get rid of it if they can. That said, I think this
kind of dramatic response we`ve seen from the good people of North Dakota
shows that there really will be resistance. So, I think that Cobb and his
friends at this point will find it extremely difficult to continue buying
properties there, well of course, we`ll get to see how it all plays out.
SCHULTZ: You`ve seen this effort (ph) before but this -- normally,
what`s the end game here? And what is the next move you think by this
group to basically colonize.
POTOK: Well, I think the end game is to create a large area of the
country which ultimately would come under all white control essentially
Nazi control which would ultimately kick out anybody who was not white, who
was Jewish, who had had a relationship with someone who`s not white and so
on and to create their own country. You know, they realize sometime ago
that it was too late to save the United States "to save".
POTOK: They look at what`s happening demographically. They realize
you can no longer throw 40, 50, 60, 70 million people out of this country
and to create their dream. So, you know, we`ve seen, those, it`s very
small effort for instance in Kalispell, Montana led by a local neo-Nazi up
there, a woman named April Gaede. She`s been dramatically unsuccessful.
She may have gotten a couple of people to move up there.
SCHULTZ: Do you consider these people dangerous? I mean as numbers
grow? I mean how influential and how dangerous is a guy like Craig Cobb?
POTOK: Well, Cobb is an incredibly violent character at least
rhetorically. This is a guy who some years ago set up a particular website
called Podblanc, which he ran from Estonia where he lived at the time.
Podblanc specialized in doing things like matching incredible awful video
tapes of Russian Neo-Nazis for instance literally cutting the throats or
sawing the heads off of immigrants. That`s the kind of thing Cobb has sent
to, Cobb back in 2003 posted the name, home address, and a map to the home
of the federal judge in Chicago, Joan Lefkow, who had made a ruling against
another Neo-Nazi leader that anchored many on the extreme right.
A few years later, in fact Joan Lefkow`s mother and husband were
murdered at her house not by Neo-Nazis, by another man who had a grudge
relating to some core case as well in the past but that`s the kind of thing
that Cobb`s about. I`m sure that Bobby Harper, the one black resident I
believe along with his wife are highly concerned and they (inaudible).
SCHULTZ: OK. Mark Potok, thanks for joining us tonight on the Ed
Show for an update on all of these. Appreciate it.
Coming up, credit where it`s not due. The Rapid Response Panel Takes
on Rick Scott and other Republicans for writing the quote tales of
President Obama`s success. And Denmark, the country tops the list of
happiest countries. Find out why the Labor Movement could be part of the
reason why. But next, I`m taking your questions on Ask Ed Live, is just
ahead. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show, we love hearing from our
viewers. Love the questions tonight in our Ask Ed Live segment. First
question comes from Paul D. He wants to know how hopeful are you about the
Well, I`m pretty encouraged about Pope Francis. First of all, he`s
talking about austerity and how it hurts people. He`s defending the poor
in his sermons. He`s talking about social and economic justice. I wish
you would come to the United States. I think his first stop should be
Washington DC and talk to some of these Congressional members. I`m very
encouraged about the Pope and I`m going to pay a heck of a lot of more
attention to what Pope Francis says than what the last two Popes did, who
basically ignored the things he`s talking about right now.
Our next question is from Maddy Brown, and the question is, what can
we do about Gerrymandering? You know, this is political engineering at its
worst. This is a manipulation and it sets up a lot of things that can be
awfully ugly in this country.
But getting back to what can we do about it. Well, you got to be
brilliant on the basics, all politics is local engage as many people as you
possibly can, push back against all of this photo suppression that`s going
on, but really what you got to do? You got to win state houses. That`s
what you have to do. You have to win state houses to make sure that you
have a level of protection which would be the progressives that would keep
the writings from doing this kind of stuff that will change election
outcomes down the road. So what can you do about Gerrymandering? Those
are the things but number one, it all starts with you, your heart, your
soul, and your belief and nothing`s lost until you give up. Stick around,
Rapid Response Panel is next.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Republicans in Washington are
threatening to shutdown our government and sabotage the economic progress
we`ve made in order to defund ObamaCare.
Meanwhile, radical Republican Governors facing reelection in 2014,
they`re trying to take credit for their state`s improving economies. This
is interesting over the weekend, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder played host
to more than a thousand state, a national conservative law makers at the
30th Biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference. Well, look who`s
Snyder bragged his economic policies have helped Michigan go from a 15
percent unemployment rate in 2009 to 9 percent unemployment rate today. In
reality, Snyder has consistently chosen businesses over people. He cut
taxes from multimillionaires in businesses, eliminated red tape for
businesses, attacked unions, and slashed budgets hurting education. I
would argue any progress in Michigan has a lot more to do with President
Obama saving the automobile industry.
Down in Florida, there`s another example of mind boggling hypocrisy on
the Republican side. Governor Rick Scott, a former Healthcare Executive
behind the largest fraud settlement in U.S. history has never been shy
about his opposition to ObamaCare. Just ask the state`s 3.8 million
uninsured residents. Now, Scott is taking credit for a thousand jobs
created by ObamaCare, that`s right. The man who once said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: I ran a campaign in getting our state back
to work. This will be the biggest job killer ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Is now using ObamaCare`s success to stage photo ops while
continuing to obstruct the laws` full implementation. Joining me now for
our Rapid Response Panel, Lansing Michigan Mayor Virg Bernero. Also Ruth
Conniff from the Progressive Magazine out in Madison Wisconsin, and Mitch
Caesar, Chairman of the Broward County Democratic Party. Great to have all
of you with us tonight.
Ruth, you first. This Mackinac seminar that they have is really the
think tank and strategy play for the Republicans and Conservatives every
two years. And of course, this is where Governors go to tell their story.
Once again, Walker is spending his job numbers. He`s been doing it for
years. How does he get away with it? How do these Republican get a --
Republican Governors get away and make a play for this is their economy on
the heels of what Obama has done.
RUTH CONNIFF, EDITOR of THE PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: Well, it`s
ridiculous. I mean you can see that especially here in Wisconsin, we have
been at the bottom for job creation month after month after month. Even as
Walker has bragged that he`s doing well and I think it just comes down to
hotspots (ph) being willing to say that you`re doing well when all the
number show that you`re doing badly.
But I think what both Snyder and Walker are doing is they`re really
running to the far right of their party. They`re saying, "Look, we stood
up to the union", I mean it was a shock and a scandal to the country when
we saw Michigan, the heart of industrial union is in historically in this
country become a right to work state because of Snyder and, you know, by
sticking it to workers by arguing that somehow publican police, teachers,
fire fighters, and police officers are to blame for the economic collapse
in this country to say that a $19,000 a year pension to publican police
should be rated and cut as Snyder has said. Even as he continues to run
the state that puts more money than almost any other state in the union
into a corporate subsidies is really just to represent the rich at the
expense of the poor .
CONNIFF: . and to drive a brutally, brutally unequal economy.
SCHULTZ: Virg, would it be fair to say that there would be no
Michigan turnaround whatsoever? Had there not been the Automobile Loan
VIRGIL BERNERO (D), MAYOR of LANSING, MICHIGAN: Bingo! Absolutely,
you`re right on. And the irony of this, Ed, is that thanks to the work
that the unions have done over the years. This incredible resurgence of
manufacturing in Michigan that is leading our recovery thanks to President
Obama`s rescuing the auto industry, you know, thanks to the unions at Ford
Chrysler and General Motors, thanks to the UAW. You know, a lot of the
benefit of those auto companies coming back is spread to the workers.
That`s the magic that Democrats believe in, right? We believe that
the recovery shouldn`t be just at the top, but it should be for everybody
and that`s what ironically that`s exactly what unions do. And since the
bulk of this recovery in Michigan is actually from manufacturing which is a
heavily unionized area, that`s why we`re enjoying a recovery in Michigan.
The fact is we are enjoying a bit of a recovery, the unemployment is still
too high but thanks to President Obama, the auto industry is booming.
Places like Lansing, Michigan, we`re making the Cadillac CTS, the Chevy
Traverse soon to be the Chevy Camaro. I mean our products are flying off
the shelf. Americans are buying American and now the benefits of that
resurgent is going to working people. Thanks to the hard work over the
years of the United Auto Workers and other unions.
SCHULTZ: I mean what we are seeing here is Republican governors as
they get closer to reelection or their attempt to move forward in the
political process, their grabbing as much credit as they possibly can. I
mean Rick Scott down in Florida blamed Florida`s economic downturn on
Charlie Crist. And then took credit for Florida`s economic recovery and
economists and experts disagree with that assessment. Mitch will this
still work? I mean he`s going to keep going down this road Mitch, what
MITCH CEASAR, BROWARD COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY, CHAIRMAN: Well you`re
exactly right Ed. In fact, Florida economists have said that, you know, an
improvement in the state like Florida, most states will obviously be based
on national trends so we could thank President Obama. But specifically
Florida economists have talked about that there is absolutely no doubt in a
backout with Governor Scott saying and specifically if it was true as you
had just mentioned that what should have happened is that Floridians should
be doing better above the national average instead unfortunately for
Floridians were doing worst. Our economic data, our personal growth data
is not even on the same as in national level. It`s still below the
This is the same guy Rick Scott of course who had an opportunity to
create jobs. The first time he had direct role in creating jobs in which
he was presented with the bullet train and the most conservative estimate
said it would create 23,000 jobs in Florida. He killed the bill, that`s
SCHULTZ: Yes, he did. He has been a big obstructor and now he`s
trying to change the vernacular of it all. You know, back to you Virg,
this weekend, Snyder said he hopes to be this to be a reasonable model for
the GOP. What does reasonable model mean with the way he has treated
BERNERO: That`s just it. I mean the reality is what we see from all
these Republican governors, it`s the same playbook. What we see is divide
and conquer politics. We don`t see moderation. We see divide and conquer.
We see Robin Hood in reverse, steal from the poor and give to the rich,
that`s the reality. That`s one of the first things Governor Snyder did. I
disagreed vehemently is he refused the long-term unemployment benefits. He
did away with that.
This Tea Party dominated divide and conquer is what we`re getting.
It`s let me kick (ph) mentality that they put right into policy. I mean
you look at the national level, they`re not helping Michigan. They write
away rush to pass a bill that says the Republicans pushing for no health
for cities that are gearing toward bankruptcy. They tried to cutoff
children and families from food stamps, people who are hurting. We just
had a mobile food pantry in Lansing and the line was at the door, two or
three hours before it started.
People are still hurting. We`re doing the best we can to provide for
them and the Republicans are trying to pull the rag of the safety net out
from underneath them.
SCHULTZ: Ruth, how can this not hurt the Republicans -- I mean there
has got to be some really local react to this. How could people miss this?
CONNIFF: No, I think you`re absolutely right Ed and I think that
divide and conquer is a good way to describe these Republican politics in
all of the states. And of course politicians always try to take credit for
economic recovery and blame economic collapse on somebody else but I think
there`s a lot of data to show that younger voters don`t buy this. And they
-- people who are growing up in austerity conditions who are under crashing
debt load from their college education don`t buy the idea that the problem
is government and that the rich don`t have enough money.
People are recognizing younger voters and particularly recognizing
that the 1 percent in this country are richer than ever and the bottom 40
percent are losing ground economically for years now. So I don`t think it
can go on forever.
SCHULTZ: Rich or Mitch Ceasar, are the Republicans just saying
goodbye to the Latino vote in Florida?
CEASAR: Well, I think they`ve kissed it goodbye and I think some of
the smarter heads understand that they`re acquiescing and literally giving
up any chance to win the Presidential cycle again. In Florida, we`ve seen
that happened. Marco Rubio is out front. He took heat from the extreme
elements of the Tea Party. He backed down. He`s kind of AWOL on the
CAESAR: I think that in Florida that they are growing trend. They
are changing demographic. They are why we`re changing from a red state to
a purple and they be in the future blue.
SCHULTZ: They`re at out of bounds with young people. There is just
absolutely no question about it. This taken from the poor suppressing the
vote, going for voting rights, the war on women. It`s -- Florida I don`t
think looks very good for the Republicans at all. Scott is trying to put
lipstick on that pig, he can`t do it. Virg Bernero, Ruth Conniff and Mitch
Ceasar great to have you on the Ed Show. Thanks so much.
Up next in Pretenders, Steve Doocy is better at checking out figures
than facts. Stay tuned.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, the old pal Steve Doocy. Doocy
took some time away from hanging out with the Hooters girls. So slam Nancy
Pelosi and give us some facts math on the deficit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to show you how off kill (ph) which I believe
Nancy Pelosi is as the minority leader in the house. She came out and just
said, "I`m sorry ripping on the Republican Party", saying that they -- from
their view point, they just want to take down the economy. She also says
the president has cut the deficit in half but in fact, according to CBO,
it`s going up a 137 percent.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: No, no, no. Doocy is exactly wrong. A congressional budget
office found that the deficit had in fact fallen this year coming in at 4
percent. The deficit is at its smallest size since 2008. Its peak was at
10 percent in 2009. You can call it a parting gift from the from President
Doocy needs to stick to chicken wings dude. You see Doocy thinks he`s
better than Nancy Pelosi in math. He can just keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is the story for the
folks who take a shower after work. At this our President Obama is in New
York City for his annual visit to the United Nations with the deadly
terrorist attack on a shopping mall in Kenya, and the recent situation in
Syria taking center stage. Workers rights need to be focused on of the
U.N. because they are simply a major issue.
Just ahead of the event, the U.N. released the second annual World
Happiness Report. I had no idea there was one out there, but there is.
The World Happiness Report which measures the perceptions of citizens with
six factors to consider.
They look at GDP per capita, a family support group, healthy life
expectancy, perceived freedom to make life choices along with generosity
and freedom from corruption. Now these years top five are Denmark, Norway,
Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden. All of these countries have
universal healthcare and high levels of collective bargaining.
Denmark is the happiest country, 80 percent of its workers are
protected by collective bargaining. In Norway, its 70 percent, Switzerland
51 percent, the Netherlands have 81 percent and Sweden with 88 percent of
workers protected by unions.
Now here in America income inequality is at its worst level ever.
Union membership has now at 11.3 percent falling by 400,000 members alone
just in the last year. How do we turn this around and what are these
Joining us tonight, United Steelworkers International President, Leo
Gerard. Mr. Gerard, clearly there seems to be a parallel between
collective bargaining and quality of life, what do you make of these
LEO GERARD, UNITED STEELWORKERS INTERNATIONAL, PRESIDENT: Well
they`re absolutely accurate and in fact if you look at countries like
Denmark, not only are people are happier because of the points that you
just made but they also have universal child care protection, they have
universal health insurance. If you`re a resident of Denmark and growing up
there, you can go to post-secondary education for no extra fee. So their
society is much more egalitarian therefore happier.
They don`t have the kind of stresses like where will I put my kid for
child care, what will happen to me if I don`t have health insurance, how am
I going to pay the college debt. All of those things and it`s very clear
if you look at those countries they`re all related to the level of
Finland has got 91 percent collective bargaining. As you pointed out
and when you can sit down and make your country again more productive.
Country like Denmark is one of the productive countries on the planet and
they got one of the highest rates of unionization. They come together and
I think we`ve got to get that message through to America.
SCHULTZ: Our country United States ranked as the 17th happiest
country. We`re only about 8 percent of workers are covered by collective
bargaining. How do you turn that around Mr. Gerard? And we lost 400,000
union members in the last year and that number doesn`t seem to be slowing
down. What`s the remedy here?
GERARD: Well I think the remedy is we all have to come together and
understand that the system that`s in place now can`t be sustained. You
can`t sustain a democracy with the country ripping itself apart. And in
equality you can`t keep the country going in the direction it`s going when
kids are coming out of the school with college that equaled to a first or
second or two mortgages. And the only function that has brought about
equality since the last 75 years has been collective bargaining. We can
see it everywhere else in the world and eventually we`re going to have to
get that message through to the people that make the laws at both the state
level and the federal level. If you want to have a democracy that
functions, you need to have collective bargaining and give workers a right
to participate in the economy.
SCHULTZ: When you look at the top two countries, Denmark and Norway,
they have the least income and inequality in the Western World. What`s
that tell us about our labor policy? Heck, we can`t even get a National
Labor Relations Board because of all the obstruction that has been taken
place in Washington.
GERARD: Ed, one of the things that most Americans don`t realize is
that America has the worst labor laws of any of the OECD top 27 countries.
And the way I put it in America is you have the right to try to get a union
and the boss has the right to do anything they can to stop you. Should you
be able to get a union? You have the right to try to get a collective
agreement and the boss has the right to do anything they can to stop you.
If you get a collective agreement, you have the right to try to administer
it and the boss has the right to try and decertify you.
Collective bargaining in America has becoming something that you got
to be a hero to get to. And I think as we see the country becoming more
and more unequal as we see what`s happening in countries that have high
levels of collective bargaining, eventually we`re going to have to make
that point clear so we can get laws that encourage collective bargaining.
In fact, the Wagner Act originally encouraged collective bargaining in
America but between the courts and right wing Republicans and tough (ph)
hardly and other really obstructionists measures, they pushed collective
GERARD: And as I said to some folks, one of the most productive ways
of sharing the wealth that a country produces is give workers a right to
sit down with their boss and participate in both the productivity and the
collective bargaining process.
SCHULTZ: All right, Mr. Gerard, good to have you with us tonight, I
appreciate it. I know it`s a long season but I`m feeling for you those
steelers at Owen (inaudible). I think they`re a little bit better than
that. So put a smile on your face.
GEARD: Take it easy. There is no.
SCHULTZ: That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz. Politics Nation with
Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Rev?
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