THE ED SHOW
November 21, 2013
Guest: Elijah Cummings, Steny Hoyer, Connie Schultz, Bernard Sanders
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just simple, straightforward, fact-based.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dismantled piece by piece by piece with every tool
that they have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jim, bring down the crow hammer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This would be a story of an epic collapse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire in the hole.
CRUZ: Well, I
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The full wait of the evil of ObamaCare is going to
end up being a wrecking ball, so big, not even Miley Cyrus would write it.
CRUZ: Well, I .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to the repeal the law of the land. Was
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good to have you with us tonight folks.
Thanks for watching.
I know all the liberals in the community are all excited about the
Senate rules being changed when it comes to filibusters. I`m not as
excited as maybe you are. I`ll explain later on in this broadcast.
I`ve got to start to with health care because we are gaining momentum
as the website continues to get better everyday. I want to focus on this
number if I may.
That is 15 percent. Now, apparently, the conservatives are really
concerned about all the rates that are going up for health care. Focus on
this number. If somebody told you, you could get 15 percent return on your
money, would you think, "Well, that`s pretty good." No, no, no, no. I`ve
got a deal for you. I`ve got a deal. You take your money and you invest
it, I can guarantee you a 15 percent return on investment. I think anybody
would take that in a heart beat.
This is the average increase of health care cost over the last 15
years but the Republicans and the conservatives are acting as if, "Oh no,
my rates are going up." They`ve been going up for a long, long time. But
you know what? Over the last three years, they`ve dipped quite a bit.
We`ll bring you the number later.
So rates are a big concern and then of course the cancellation notices
have got everybody all uptight on the Right as if insurance companies never
started canceling anybody or never send out any notices until Barack Obama
was in the White House.
Let me tell you what the Republicans are really good at. Republicans
are horrible at building things, but they are great at tearing stuff down
and not giving any direct plans for where the country should go. Keep in
mind that this is a generational fight. Democrats built and passed this
law called ObamaCare. There`s no doubt that this law is going to ensure
millions of Americans and our stories are going to outweigh theirs.
Republicans have done absolutely nothing but try to destroy this law
from the start. Now, they want to start all over again. They want to
start all over again because they know they`re missing out on something
good. This is a generational shift in America. It is going to bring in
the young demographics of this country to realize that this country can do
great things. They have offered over on the Right absolutely nothing but
negativity. Kids today, they`re fighting for the younger generation, kids
today, who are positive. They don`t like negative stuff. They don`t like
anti this, anti that and this is all these guys are and this is why they
are not polling well anywhere. The Republican attack plan now is getting
laser-focused on ObamaCare.
Folks, this is what they spend their time on. Majority Leader Eric
Cantor has put together a new playbook. Oh, it`s a handy Republican
playbook to, you see, synchronized all the attacks on ObamaCare. Let`s all
get on the same page. We`re not done with this yet.
The playbook wants the Republicans to focus on themes like because of
ObamaCare, I lost my insurance. That`s going to be the -- one of the great
talking points coming out from the Rightist in the House. The other one is
ObamaCare increases health care cost as if it`s never happened before. And
of course, the exchange may not be secure because it`s putting personal
information at risk.
This is what they are doing. This is their plan. This is why Ted
Cruz can`t answer directly, "What do you want to do?" This is what they
want to do. All of these bogus talking points and lies have been debunked
on this program time and time again.
Meanwhile, Republicans are already out there repeating more lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH) HOUSESPEAKER OF REPRESENTATIVES: Everyday,
we hear heart-wrenching stories from Americans who are getting letters
about their health care plans being canceled or the cost to their new plan
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, HealthCare.gov screams to those who are
trying to break into system. If you like my health care info, maybe you
can steal it.
BOEHNER: Premiums are going right through the roof.
REP. ERIC CANTOR, (R) VIRGINIA: Moms and dads are worried that
they`re going to lose their health care plan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You won`t be able to keep your doctor.
CANTOR: Individuals who are going on to the HealthCare.gov website
are beginning to fear that perhaps, their identity will be stolen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Folks, that`s all they have. They don`t have the intestinal
fortitude or the intelligence to go behind closed doors and say, "This is
our plan, this is far better." They can`t compete on that level. They
don`t have anything for people with preexisting conditions. That`s how
fundamentally flaw they are.
And their rates are going up and people are getting gut-wrenching
notices at home. You know, these people are getting at home, I notice that
their insurance sucks and ObamaCare and the exchange and in the state
exchange if you`re living on a state as lucky enough and smart enough to do
the exchange, it`s going to be heck of a lot better. And in most cases,
it`s going to be less expensive.
Eric Cantor`s playbook also stresses the importance of social media.
Let`s get the attack plan together. It reduced Republican law makers to
execute messages across all platforms of the social media. This includes
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, all that stuff. Even Instagram,
I think they even want to do down to the fundamental stuff. That`s all
good because this is all they have.
Republicans even created, ooh, a website where people can go and
complain about ObamaCare. You see, they hope to gather the real stories of
people losing their insurance. Now, think about that. This is in their
playbook. They have created a website so they will be able to go out and
create stories. You`re going to be able to go to their website, it was
just so gut-wrenching when I got is letter from this insurance company that
didn`t cover anything anyway or you can go to the Democratic website, put
out by the folks behind ObamaCare, and hear a story of maybe a five-year-
old kid that got insurance that didn`t have it because he or she had
You see, 41 million stories are going to out do anything that the
Republicans bring to the table. What the website doesn`t tell you is that
you can get a better deal if you sign up with ObamaCare or state exchange.
This playbook is just the latest chapter in Republican obstruction of
progress in this country. Democrats go for law from ground up.
Republicans are now doing everything they can to come up with the wrecking
ball that will take us to destruction and take us back to the days where
the insurance companies have what? Absolute power. Power over you.
This would be, "Hey, I`ve got a good one for you," an insurance
takeover. That`s what it would be. That`s where the Republicans are.
They want to bring back the days when coverage could be denied for an
existing -- pre existing condition. They want to bring back the days where
lifetime limits on coverage. Well, we can`t have that anymore. They want
to kick young adults off their parents` policies. Republicans have nothing
to offer as an alternative, whatsoever. Meanwhile, this is just the latest
chapter in obstruction from Republicans.
The night President Obama was elected in 2008, Republicans, what did
they do? Well, they immediately went to the black room. That`s right.
They went right on back there and they got together and they started
running their planning of obstruction. They vowed to block everything this
President put forward. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made it, his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY) MINORITY LEADER: Our top political
priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: How about that for cancellation notice? Republicans
couldn`t make President Obama one-term President so now, what they`re doing
is they`re doing everything in their power to tear down the signature
legislation on his ObamaCare.
This is a heavy lift. It is a generational lift. What do you think
is going to be -- what be more impactful? A bunch of negative nellies
telling lies on a Republican website or maybe 41 million Americans who have
got some real life stories about how things have been turned around and
lives have been saved and families have been turned around and
This is what ObamaCare is about. Now, you know, if the website was
perfect, based on the character of these people over on the Right, if the
website was perfect, do you think that they would give it any credit? Do
you think that they would come up with anything else to try and destroy
ObamaCare? Yes, they would. You can see him coming from a mile away.
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, "Are Republicans only invested in the destruction of ObamaCare?"
Text A for Yes, text B for No to 67622. You can always go to our blog at
ed.msnbc.com. We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Just remember, they have a playbook to destroy something that is going
to save lives. How the hell you win that argument? You lie to the people.
For more, let me bring in Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland.
Congressman, great to have you with us tonight.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) MARYLAND: It`s good to be with you Ed.
SCHULTZ: Your reaction to the latest GOP playbook of lies, the
strategy, and the bullet points that they have orchestrated and put
together to coordinate with the social media to destroy something. What
does it tell you about them and their motives?
CUMMINGS: Well first of all, that didn`t surprise me and by the way,
this is a second playbook. The first playbook basically had a lot of
information, again about how to talk negatively about the Affordable Care
Act. But this is has been -- what they`ve been all about all the time.
Keep in mind, we got and no corporation from them when we were trying
to pass the law. They`d now voted over 40 times to destroy it. And so,
this is nothing new. As a matter of fact, Ed Chairman Issa of my Committee
has just set up four hearings in states Arizona, in North Carolina, Texas,
and Georgia and where they are going to hold so-called hearings to hear
about the Affordable Care Act and they`ll going to do exactly what you just
said Ed. They`re going to go out and they`re going to listen to people who
may be complaining.
But, you know, the interesting thing Ed about this, those four states
average one out of every five people with no insurance which is amazing.
SCHULTZ: But also .
CUMMNINGS: They won`t hear from them.
SCHULTZ: Also, those states have not set up the state exchanges
CUMMINGS: That`s exactly right.
SCHULTZ: They`re going to where ObamaCare has been denied.
CUMMINGS: That`s right.
SCHULTZ: They`re going to the belly of the beast, so to speak. And
the fact is, is that the Republicans are going to try to out story tell,
should we say in our industry, there is an actuality, a soundbite.
SCHULTZ: They`re going to try to out actual out (ph) actuality the
Democrats with "real stories". What are the -- Congressman, what are the
democrats going to do?
CUMMINGS: The Democrats have set up sessions throughout the country.
I mean, and just about more than half our districts where we`re going into
our districts and trying to make sure that people get signed up. After
all, Ed we did pass this law to help people and it is the law. So, we want
to make sure we make it work even -- mine back in 2005 when we would deal
with Medicare Part D, the Prescription Drug Program, we did the same thing.
We went out there although we were in total agreement with the law and
although was having website problems.
CUMMINGS: We went out there and we held sessions because we wanted to
make sure that our constituents are more protected.
SCHULTZ: I want our audience to grab what`s happening here. Think
about this, elected officials are going to take their time and their effort
to go orchestrate negative impact hearings across the country. How
regressive could that be? What kind of mindset do you have to be in to go
out and look for people who are going to come to a bitch session and that`s
exactly what it is going to be. That`s what they`re looking for.
CUMMINGS: But, you know what, Ed and the sad part about it, they are
going to be using our tax dollars to do that.
CUMMINGS: Do you understand that? They`re going to use our taxes.
SCHULTZ: They`re not going to move anything forward.
CUMMINGS: That`s right.
SCHULTZ: They`re not going to be able to move any legislation forward
on this. All they`re going to do is collect negative material to throw it
at the President. In the meantime, you`re telling me that Democrats are
going to set up infrastructure to go out and get people signed up?
CUMMINGS: That`s exactly -- No that`s what we`re supposed to do, Ed.
CUMMINGS: I mean, I didn`t come here to Washington to throw my
constituents under the bus. I came here to lift them up. And if we passed
a law giving them an opportunity to purchase insurance and I want to make
sure that they are informed. I want to make sure that they find a way to
make sure that they get insurance that`s what we voted for.
CUMMINGS: And so, that`s my job. And that should be all of our job.
SCHULTZ: This is a heavy generational lift. If we want to go back as
other presidents have tried to do this in the past, I mean, if you want to
go back to the Clinton years early on, they had a Democratic House. They
didn`t even get a vote on health care in the House. Is that correct?
CUMMINGS: That`s right. That`s exactly right. And let me tell you,
Ed as far as I`m concerned, all of us, we don`t have the right to remain
silent with regard to making sure that our constituents get insurance.
CUMMINGS: That is what we voted for. That is the law.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Congressman Elijah Cummings, great to have you with
us on the Ed Show. Keep up the fight my friend, thank you.
CUMMINGS: And happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
SCHULTZ: You can count on me a Turkey. I guarantee you that. Thank
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter in @EdShow and on Facebook,
Like us, we like that. We want to know what you think all the time.
Thanks for the tweets and comments.
Coming up. Oxford, named its 2013 word of the year and I have to
admit that I think my trip might have an impact and inspired them over in
London to pick this word. Plus, Republicans are warming up for round two
of the shutdown showdown.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Love hearing from you. You
know, I was thinking, if the Republicans are going to use the social media,
maybe we should use the social media a little bit more here on the Ed Show
Now, I`m just throwing this out here. This thing you could tweet and
tell us what you think. The misinformation campaign that`s being put out
there by Republican operatives when they put it in the Twitter world, maybe
we should take them off Twitter and put them right here on the Ed Show and
then straighten them out and we`ll make them famous for being liars because
there`s a whole bunch of lies in the Twitter world about ObamaCare.
Our first question comes from Rohn Wagner. He says, why isn`t the
Democratic Party doing a better job of selling the Affordable Care Act?
Well, couple of things, number one, this is a marathon, not a sprint. But
if you actually listen to what the Democrats and the law makers are saying
about the Affordable Care Act and listen to the stories of people who are
getting covered in a much better way, maybe you wouldn`t think that the
Democratic Party isn`t doing a better job of selling. You know, our
industry, it`s innate that we look for controversy. It is just the -- I
guess you can say the pillars of the business that controversy sells and a
negative story always seems to get a heck of a lot more attention.
There is a lot of positive stuff about somebody who couldn`t see a
doctor but now can. And the other thing about the Affordable Care Act,
there`s a lot of conversation on the Right about people about people
saying, well, you know, we`re going to lose our doctor. Really? You`re
going to lose your doctor is that for sure? No, it`s not for sure. It`s
another scare tactic. And by then they`ll say, "Well we don`t have any
choice," really? What about the 41 million people who don`t have health
insurance, when they go the emergency room, do they have a choice of doctor
or they just get the guy who`s on call.
Our next question comes from Tom Drive. He wants to know, why did it
takes so long for Harry Reid to grow a pair? Well, I don`t know. I`ve
always thought Harry was a man, I`m just kidding. I know what you`re
saying. Why didn`t the Democrats go further sooner on this?
Well, honestly the statesman on the Left are thinking, you know,
someday this pendulum could swing and it could really screw up the
statesmanship of the United States Senate, but of course the Republicans
are taking care of that. I`ll have a lot more to say about this later in
this broadcast tonight. We`re talking about the filibuster rules that are
changing. I wish we have done it sooner on a legislative level because I
think we probably have universal health care by now.
Stick around, there`s lot more coming up on the Ed Show.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders. In the social media this is
where you can find us, facebook.com/edshow, twitter.com/edshow and
ed.msnbc.com. And on the radio Sirius XM channel 127 Monday through Friday
noon to 3:00 p.m., although I was on secret assignment today. I`ll be back
tomorrow on the radio. And the Ed Tour 2014, first stops are going to be
in February that will be in Fort Lauderdale and in Seattle, looking forward
to it. You go to my website that we got ed.com find out more about it.
The Ed Show social media nation has decided we are reporting. Here
our today`s top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on off and give it to me.
SCHULTZ: The number three Trender, selfie spotlight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oxford is out with its word of the year and it
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know what that means.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A photograph that one is taken of course of
SCHULTZ: After my visit to Oxford.
This is all very different than the (inaudible) to North Dakota
They`re making Selfie the word of the year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the polls rate (ph) of choice for the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The duck face. The happy smile.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people selfie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was chosen as their word of the year after its
use grew by 17,000 percent in 12 months.
SCHULTZ: I wonder if I had anything to do with it.
The number two Trender, Rick speaks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you go from someone who is a culture
warrior calling out the crimes of Hollywood?
RICK SANTORUM FORMER REPSENTATIVE OF PENNSYLVANIA: The devil for a
long, long time has had the screens for his playground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To being part of the problem.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meet Rick Santorum the movie executive.
SCHULTZ: Co-bearer (ph) blows out Hollywood hotshot Rick Santorum`s
SANTORUM: The town with a set of miraculous candles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, the true meaning of Christmas .
SANTORUM: No, not real -- was lot like voodoo stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, go to that voodoo that you do.
SANTORUM: Miraculous candles isn`t voodoo its Hanukkah.
SCHULTZ: And today`s top Trender, is forgiving to look a lot like the
NED STARK: Winter is coming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: January 15th will put us at the front door of
another budget set back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, we`re close.
SCHULTZ: Republican have no plans to prevent it from happening.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not just point. It`s without addition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quite frankly. It stinks.
SCHULTZ: America`s top cheese head is running for the Hills.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ryan is failing to present the GOP proposal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am the owner of this mess.
BOEHNER: So, our jobs is to listen to the American people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know if Chairman Paul Ryan and Speaker
Boehner are listening.
SCHULTZ: As the clock ticks closer to December 13th deadline for a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re trying to find common ground, but we`re not
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining us tonight Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland and
the House Democratic Whip. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. STENY HOYER, D-MARYLAND: Always good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet, guess we better check in. Where are we? Are we
getting close to a deal? Are we having any conversations on this? Do you
think we`ll see a deal by the deadline?
HOYER: Well, I certainly hope so. Shutdown is unacceptable and
certainly defaulting on our debt is unacceptable. We`ve had a long to come
to an agreement. The Republican refused to go to conference. We`re now in
conference. I talk to Senator Murray yesterday. She believes that a
positive conversations are occurring. Now, she didn`t go into specifics
and we have no deal at this point in time. So, it`s getting very, very
I had urged the Budget Conference to report out a compromise by this
break, by the 22nd which is tomorrow that is not happening and it appears
it will not happen.
As you know the -- all the Republican chairs of the Appropriation
Subcommittee urge the Budget Committee to get a deal .
HOYER: . which gave them relief from the sequester which is hurting
our national security and our economy and the growth of jobs, so that w
need to get a compromise.
My fear, Ed is there is no compromise from Paul Ryan`s perspective
that he could make.
SCHULTZ: There`s no compromise from him at all?
HOYER: No. No, listen to what I`m -- I want to finish my sentence.
HOYER: There`s no compromise that he could make that he believes he
could bring back and sell to his Republican conference.
HOYER: And I hope that`s not the case. I hope if it is the case he
will have the courage and the wisdom to come to a deal that he knows is the
right thing to do, bring that back and very frankly if it`s a positive
conference report compromise, then I think he`ll find that he`ll get
significant Democratic support for it.
We have no intention of wanting to shutdown the government of United
States, but when you have a 147 Republicans who voted not to open the
government including Paul Ryan it gives you some degree of concern.
SCHULTZ: OK. So, they may ration it up one more time and you knows
they may shut it down again.
Here is where I think at least from my perspective, you always got to
get to a number, OK?
SCHULTZ: You got to get to a number. So, what do you going to shave?
I mean, are -- we`re talking about going back to or staying in Afghanistan
even longer, that`s going to cost money. The liberals are saying no way in
heck. We`re going to stay with the populist thinking, no cuts. In fact
we`re talking increases on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
What breaks this lag jam? What financial deal on a budget do you
think could be made that would break this?
HOYER: Well, I`ve always said, Ed as you will know that you need a
balance that compromise. You need a balance deal. You need some revenues
on the table. You need some spending disciplines some cuts on the table.
But we need to remember, we`ve already cut $1.2 trillion in spending over
the next 10 years.
The budget number that the Senate is using and that`s our number.
HOYER: And then, the House has a number that`s $91 billion less than
that. Normally when you compromise you try to reach to a new agreement
somewhere in the middle. And if we did that I think we could move forward
in a responsible fashion whether or not they intend to do that or can do
that, whether Ryan believes that`s the appropriate thing to do.
HOYER: We`ll have to see.
HOYER: But certainly they ought to stop playing this cliff game of
coming right up to the cliff fearful that if we go over it it`s going to
tank the economy and destroy American reputation frankly worldwide. We`ll
see if they want to play that game.
Again, Ryan says he does not want to do that. I hope he`s acting.
SCHULTZ: Well, John Boehner says that if an agreement isn`t reached
by December 13th he`s prepared to move a Continuing Resolution at the
budget control act level which would essentially keep the sequester cuts in
effect. How bad would that be for the American people as you see it?
HOYER: It would be very bad. And the people who said it would be
very bad are the 12 Republican chairs of the Appropriation Subcommittee who
have the responsibility of applying resources to the objects that the
American people want to see done including defense, including education,
including health care, including protection of our citizens and our
So, that the sequester number would be disastrous for our economy and
for our national security, and everybody in the Department of Defends
agrees with that. So, the Republicans plan a very dangerous game if they
look at the sequester number.
SCHULTZ: OK. Congressman I`m going to take one more minute of your
time if I may.
SCHULTZ: Elijah Cummings, your colleague told us tonight that Darrell
Issa the Republicans are going to be going around to non-exchange states
looking for negative stories on ObamaCare. I want your reaction to that.
I`ve never heard of that before.
HOYER: Well, I`m not surprise though, Ed. You`ve seen that Chairman
Issa has been after the Obama Administration at every opportunity he could
HOYER: Clearly, we believe this health care bill, the Affordable Care
Act is going to be good for the American people.
We`re disappointed with the rollout. We`re disappointed that the
computer system, the website doesn`t work now, but the substance of this
bill is going to provide millions and millions and millions of American
with access to Affordable Care.
HOYER: But we got to get this system working correctly. But I`m not
surprised that Mr. Issa and his staff are going around looking for .
HOYER: . horror stories that will help their argument.
SCHULTZ: Well, you`re going to have 41 million good stories before
it`s all over. Congressman good to have you.
HOYER: I think that`s right.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight thanks so you much Steny.
Stick around Rapid Response Panel is coming up next right here on the
MANDY DRURY, CNBC MARKET WRAP CORRESPONDENT: I`m Mandy Drury with
your CNBC Market Wrap. The DOW up by 109 points today and closing about
16,000 for the very first time ever. The S and P adding 14 and the NASDAQ
gaining as well by 47.
Well, a sign of the labor market is improving the number of jobless
claims fell more than expected dropping by 21,000 to a two-month low.
Wholesale price gets in October for a second straight month down 0.2
percent on cheaper gasoline prices. And the average rate on the 30-year
fixed mortgage reversing it climb this week falling to 4.22 percent.
And that`s it from CNBC. First in business worldwide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TREY RADEL, (R) FLORIDA: I`m owning up to my actions. I am
taking responsibility and I`m living it very publicly. I`m being held
accountable for the decisions that I made in my life and I am -- I have
found treatment and I`m working on treatment. And like anything in life, I
have to rebuild that trust and I fully understand that and I will do that.
I have to rebuild the trust with Southwest Florida, with the
constituents, with this home that I love so much, it means so much to me.
And I also need to do it for my family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You need to resign dude. Welcome back to the Ed Show. That
was Tea Party Congressman Trey Radel of Florida trying to explain how he`ll
regain the trust of voters after being busted with cocaine.
Radel appeared in court yesterday in Washington D.C. and pleaded
guilty to a misdemeanor count of cocaine possession. He was given a year
probation and a $250 fine. Radel, the Congressman is what? Taking a leave
of absence to undergo intensive treatment? That`s right folks. You heard
me correctly. He`s going to take a leave of absence.
In the United States Congress, there`s no such thing as a leave of
absence. He`s making stuff up again. Well, he`s a Republican.
So a leave of absence from the votes? Meaning the people down there
get no representation, whatsoever? A leave of absence. Hey, here`s a good
Tea Party idea for you. What do you say to people of Southwest Florida
take a leave of absence of paying their taxes because that guy is still
going to get paid? But he claims he`s going to give it to charity.
Really? Who`s checking up on that?
Radel made no mention of stepping down. He plans to donate his salary
to charity during his leave, but folks, in his district aren`t feeling as
charitable. The editorial board of the Southwest Florida News-Press which
previously endorsed the Congressman summed it up in a scathing op-ed.
Because of his addiction and arrest, he will never again have the trust of
the community or the nation. He is a leader who has fallen in a
significant public way, seldom does one recover from that. It`s time for
Radel to move on with rebuilding his life with his family at his side. It
is time for us to move on with a new leader who can be trusted, who doesn`t
keep secrets that directly impact all of us.
Character counts. That`s what Republicans tell us all the time.
Well, if character counts, he needs to get out of the United States
Joining us now, Rapid Response Panel Pulitzer Price-winning national
columnist Connie Schultz, also MNSBC Political Analyst, Michael Eric Dyson.
Great to have both of you with us tonight.
Dr. Dyson, I want to ask you first and I think that this is a very
fair question because the judicial system should work for everybody
equally. At least, I think that`s the way it`s supposed to be in America.
If a teenage Black kid in Washington, D.C. were to get hang up in a
cocaine drug bust, would he get just a year`s probation and a $250 fine?
Is this fair?
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No sir. No sir, Ed. We
know that that this just pointing out that Black and White people do drugs
in equal proportion, in equal numbers. But in Washington, D.C. a
remarkable disproportion of people who are taken to jail and put in or put
away and the key thrown away for awhile are African-American and Latino.
If a Black person would be in the same situation as this Congressman,
they would be put in a jail cell and they would not be remembered, they
would have no remedy in terms of going to rehab, they wouldn`t have a
medicalization of a problem, it would be a criminalization of the problem.
And look, I feel personally empathetic toward this Congressman, but
the tragedy is as you`ve eloquently pointed out. The Tea Party has been so
insensitive and harping on people`s character and pull yourself up by your
boot straps and insisting that personal responsibility be the predicate of
everything to the exclusion of any consideration of environment, or
culture, or seduction, then the only response here is to be take your lumps
as you find them in your tea and then go forward, resign from Congress,
take your personal responsibility, work with your family, and then leave
the rest of the Congress alone.
DYSON: But of course, he won`t do that because he`s making excuses.
The very excuses he claims that other people in his similar situation make.
SCHULTZ: Well, we reached out to the Florida, Governor Rick Scott his
office to see where he stands. His press secretary told us because we all
know that Rick Scott is for drug testing. It is very disappointing. Every
public official needs to live to the highest standards. Connie, do the
Republican leaders need to take a stronger position on this? Your
CONNIE SCHULTZ, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, when I think
of the republican leaders. I guess I`m thinking of, you know, when I saw
the clip of him and when I watched what he was saying, I think anybody
who`s ever loved somebody, who has suffered from addiction was seeing
denial play out before their eyes. You know that I can still do my job. I
don`t need to change anything and I just feel for his family.
I don`t, you know, you`ve been very kind ever -- we don`t talk about
who I married to but I think in this instance, it`s important to disclose
that I`m married to a United States Senator, and I do feel for his family.
Having said that, politics is very seductive and he definitely was
getting caught up in the celebrity culture politics. It`s something you
have to resist. He was tweeting constantly. He was doing videos of
himself. He -- When you look back on this now, it`s probably not so
surprising to see that he was -- going to be irresponsible on this as well.
CONNIE SCHULTZ: However, what I most object to is that he supported,
allowing states to require food stamp recipients to take drug test before
they could get help.
SCHULTZ: Right. Yeah.
CONNIE SCHULTZ: That is where I land on this one.
SCHULTZ: Connie, I want to ask you, being the soulmate and wife of
United States Senator. This is a special arena. When you make a decision
to go into public service, you put your credibility, your character. You
put it all out there to serve the people.
CONNIE SCHULTZ: Right.
SCHULTZ: And if you can`t live up to that standard and stay focused,
you have no business being in this body.
And I just think that we have a void of leadership in this country
that we constantly appease people who don`t belong in the body to serve the
people. Why are we afraid to do that? I feel empathy for his family. It
doesn`t mean his life`s ruined. It doesn`t mean that he can`t be
rehabilitated himself. But right now, he doesn`t belong in a body that
makes decision as to whether we`re going to go to war or not, whether
people are going to get fed or not, whether people are going to get housing
or not, or the people are going to get health care or not.
But, here we go, public speaker and Speaker of the House John Boehner,
wouldn`t say whether he thinks Radel should resign. But Trey Radel`s
father skipped Radel told the Cincinnati Inquirer, he had a meeting with
John Boehner and some of the Republicans. They told him they didn`t want
him to resign and they wanted him back. That`s a travesty too. They can`t
CONNIE SCHULTZ: Wow.
SCHULTZ: . clean up their own house when somebody gets arrested doing
cocaine. No wonder the Congress has got an approval rating of the toilet.
Michael Eric Dyson, I`m wound up o this. I have -- I give people like
there`s no quarter. This guy .
SCHULTZ: . votes against health care. He`s gone on a congressional
health care that`s going to help him get rehabilitated. He votes to take
food stamps away from the most vulnerable people in our society, yet he
comes out and says after getting arrested. "Oh, you know, I`m just going
to take a leave of absence." I don`t buy it.
DYSON: It`s an addiction to arrogance even more to drugs. The real
drug here is the seductive lifestyle that Ms. Schultz has made reference
to. And beyond that, the arrogance to believe that you are impervious,
that you are somehow exempt and exonerated in advance from some of the same
criminal activities that you would claim plague others, and then when you
exhibit the same behavior, you don`t subject yourself to the same penalty.
DYSON: And that`s part of the hypocrisy here Ed. And again, we`ve
got to stand up and say, "We feel sorry for you and your family but at the
end of the day, you felt no kind of sympathy or empathy for people who are
on food stamps."
SCHULTZ: So Connie does -- do you think Americans feel just sorry for
Eliot Spitzer who stepped down as Governor in New York?
CONNIE SCHULTZ: No. I think that Americans expect that people who
are elected to lead them to resign when they fail in their leadership and
this is a clear failure of leadership period.
SCHULTZ: Connie Schultz and also Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, great to
have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
Coming up, going nuclear. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rallies
Democrats to pass this unprecedented rule change. Commentary coming up.
SCHULTZ: What would America be like if some majority really ruled?
Well, the filibuster, the rules of the Senate and the changes today.
Senator Bernie Sanders coming up and this just in Speaker John Boehner
has enrolled in the D.C. exchange. Doug Kennedy tried to sign up today,
the website worked. Gosh, I wonder why he was trying to do that maybe a
negative story, it didn`t happened. We`ll be right back at the Ed Show.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is the story for the
folks who take a shower after work. The United States Senate has made a
historical rule changed spearheaded by Democratic Majority Leader Harry
Finally, this so-called nuclear option eliminates the 60 vote
threshold for all executive appointments except the Supreme Court and it
moves it down to a 51 votes. 51 votes is a simple majority in the Senate.
The nuclear option prevents filibuster fanatic Republicans from continuing
to block President Obama`s judicial nominees. Senate Republicans have
blocked three presidential nominees in the past three weeks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID, (D-NV) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The need for change
is so, so very obvious. It`s clearly visible, it`s manifest. We have to
do something to change things in the history of our country. Some 230 plus
years, there have been 168 filibusters in the executive and judicial
nominations. Half of them have recurred during the Obama Administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mcconnell wasted no time in
siting the ever predictable Republican talking points blaming ObamaCare
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: Democrat set up one set of rules for themselves and
another for everybody else. One set of rules for them and another for
everybody else. He may have just as well have said, if you like the rules
of the Senate, you can keep them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont joins us tonight.
Senator, your thoughts on what you`re hearing from the Senate well today
and the outcome of changing the rules.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: I think Senator Reid did exactly
the right thing as he indicated throughout the course of our nation`s
history when the President makes a nomination for the judiciary, a
nomination for his administration almost always that goes through and it
goes through in a reasonable period of time.
What the Republicans have done with Chuck Hagel, with other members of
the administration. What they have done with their judiciary, we now have
three nominees, well-qualified nominees, for the D.C. Court of Appeals, a
very important court and they are obstructing, obstructing, obstructing.
So I think what Senator Reid said today, "Listen, we`ve had rules,
unwritten rules, for decades, and decades, and decades. You guys have
broken those rules. You are obstructing, obstructing, obstructing. We
have got to move forward. This country is in trouble. The American people
SCHULTZ: But what are the -- I mean the Republicans -- whether
Republicans or Democrats is in the Constitution, the Senate is supposed to
advice and consent. And a lot of them (ph) they stopped doing that. They
stopped doing that because of the obstruction that was put up there by the
So do you think that they would retaliate back if they were to ever to
get the majority? I mean is this really a dangerous territory for the
SANDERS: Look, would they retaliate back? Of course they would. And
let me just be very honest with you, Ed. This country today faces a series
of problems which are unprecedented in the modern history of this country.
And that is the collapse of the middle class, high unemployment, a growing
gap between the rich and the poor, health care, et cetera.
Time after time, this is above and beyond the judiciary nominations.
Time and time again we have passed with over 50 votes decent legislation
which would protect the middle class of this country. We cannot get the 60
votes because now what the Republicans are doing .
SANDERS: . again in an unprecedented way is filibustering virtually
everything. It used to be exception of the rule, now it is the rule.
So what has happened since Obama has been President is these guys, the
Republicans have really changed the rules. And now what Reid and the
Democrats have done and said, "OK, you change the rules, now we have got to
respond and let this Senate begin to be a little bit functional."
SCHULTZ: What would our country look like right now if the filibuster
rules were changed all the way across the board? Not just limited to
judicial nominees and executive appointments. I mean, what if it covered
the legislator? Would we have a jobs package? Would we have .
SANDERS: Damn right, we would. Yes, you would.
SANDER: This is what you would have and you should understand and
your viewers should understand. People are worried about the high cost of
college education. We passed legislation with over 50 votes to protect and
make sure that college loans continue to be affordable. People are worried
about gender inequality. We passed legislation to protect women against
discrimination in the job place. People are worried about the great crises
of jobs. We passed a jobs bill. People are worried about outsourcing of
jobs. We passed legislation with majority votes that would help us in that
SCHULTZ: They`re holding up America.
SANDERS: They are holding up America. They have made the Senate -- I
think it is fair to say that the Senate today is this dysfunctional and is
unproductive as any Senate in the history of the United States of America
coming at a time when this country faces so many crises.
So if the Republicans have broken the rules, the gentleman`s agreement
that existed that they were only used to filibuster under extraordinary
circumstances. That`s gone. Filibuster`s now done every -- virtually
every single day. The Democrats have responded. In my view, they have got
to go further. We need to pass a minimum wage bill. And if we don`t have
60 votes and we only have 55 votes, we should pass it with 55 votes.
We need to deal with the fact that unemployment is much too high and
pass a real jobs bill, rebuilding our infrastructure. We can`t get 60
votes to do that. We should do that with a majority.
So my suggestion to Senator Reid is go further. Majority rules should
work in the Senate.
SANDERS: I have no doubts that after Republicans would gain control
of the Senate. That is exactly what they would do.
SCHULTZ: Senator Bernie Sanders, great to have you on the Ed Show
tonight, sir. Thank you so much. And that is the Ed Show, I`m Ed Schultz.
Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Good evening
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