THE ED SHOW
December 3, 2013
Guest: Wendell Anthony, Lee Gaddies, Tim Ryan, Connie Schultz, Eugene
Robinson, Leo Gerard
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVYN ORR, DETROIT EMERGENCY CITY MANAGER: .have a human dimension
because of their pensions. The retiree issue, retirees, pensioners of the
(inaudible) and their customers
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rick, have you ever heard the expression, "The
customer is always right?"
MAYOR DAVE BING, (D) DETROIT: I don`t look at it this way.
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: The consequences could be devastating if you
care about people.
ORR: You know, when I said I was very pleased, I very specifically
stayed away from the, you know, word happy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight folks. Thanks for
What happened in Detroit today is not American exceptionalism,
something that the Republicans and the conservatives love to talk about all
the time. Now, today is a failure. Today is a managed failure but I want
to point out that this is the model. This is the conservative Utopia that
I was telling you about this summer. We knew this day was coming. It`s
been manufactured all along. There`s been no real effort to remedy the
situation with jobs. It`s just easier to surrender. And oh, by the way,
we got to blame workers along the way.
If you work for a company for 30 years, big company, let`s pick a big
company. Xerox, General Electric, Comcast, you know, I`m right in the
house. If you work for a company that came to you and said, "I know that
you`ve got this number in your retirement fund but we`re going to cut it in
half, well, just because we have to."
That`s basically what has happened to the workers of Detroit. Why are
they taking it out on the workers? You mean to tell me that there are so
many obligations out there that they just have to undercut workers, who
have dedicated their lives to make Detroit what Henry Ford once made it. I
don`t buy it.
It is a sad day for the city of Detroit and it`s a day that we are
seeing democracy in America completely undercut.
Earlier today, a federal judge ruled that Detroit is officially
eligible for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy. It`s the largest municipal bankruptcy
in the history of the United States. Here is the engineer right here,
Governor Snyder. It is a major blow to public employees. It is a major
blow to union workers. But it`s also a signal to the rest of the country
that, you know what, if you don`t get your Fiscal House in order, this is
what`s going to happen because this is now the template. Don`t think that
other governors aren`t thinking this way especially on the conservative
Is the pension means you`ve paid into something and benefits are going
to be slashed now with this city, assets are going to be sold off, and
they`re going to be privatized.
Oh, yes, privatization. That`s, of course what the Republicans want
to do with everything. In fact, public workers aren`t worth a damn. In
fact if we can`t make a dollar in America, we`re not any good. What do you
mean? Services to the public.
Well, demonstrations took place in the streets outside the federal
courthouse today to protest Detroit`s bankruptcy. The people of Detroit,
they are not happy. They`re upset by their vote being circumvented.
Now, what does that mean? When you see all these folks voted at local
elections? That does matter because the governor came in with the strength
of the state legislator and said, "You know what, we`re going to erase your
votes." So actually, the last election, these people were participating
in. It was kind of a conditional thing, you know, if the numbers didn`t
work out. We`re not going to give a damn how you voted. That`s basically
what has unfolded here.
Emergency City Manager Kevin Orr will now take a complete control of
Detroit. Earlier today, the Mayor, Dave Bing, said that it`s a sad day for
workers in Detroit and the city.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BING: It`s very, very important, I think, that we respect the fact
that the Emergency Manager has the key to the city at this point in time.
I know there are a lot of people that are upset, that are concerned about
their futures, but we are now starting from square 1. It`s a process that
I think we need to take a lot of care because there`s going to be pain for
a lot of different people. But in the long run, I think the future of the
city will be bright.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I offer to you tonight that this is unnecessary pain, that
there is a way out. Kevin Orr now holds the keys to the city of Detroit.
This guy, not an elected official, is appointed, he was hand picked by
Republican Governor Rick Snyder to oversee Detroit`s bankruptcy.
Earlier today, Orr said that pensions are going to be cut and public
workers, their pensions are going to on the table.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ORR: Approximately 40 percent of every dollar that the city takes in
in the general fund goes to paying legacy debts, pension obligations, some
of which are unfunded or debt. That`s just not sustainable.
The reality is there`s not enough money to address this situation no
matter what we do. That is clear. They have representation that we ask
for and the city is paying for. We paid for the retiree committee so that
there are people there that can support and put forward their interest.
But we`re going to try to do this in a very measured and thoughtful way but
it has to be done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, Mr. Orr, you`re only telling part of the story. Roughly
30,000 retired workers are concerned about their pensions being cut. State
law doesn`t matter anymore, state constitution, hell, that`s not to wonder,
that don`t matter anymore. Governor Snyder basically is getting absolutely
everything he wants. City assets will be privatized and city workers will
be taken a huge cut on their pensions.
Now, this is the systematic destruction of an American City with a
great tradition in this country. It`s a government coo without the
violence and it is completely unjustified and unnecessary. In the coming
days, you`re going to hear a lot from folks in the media saying stuff like
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a one-party state to be totally clear,
right? There`s no political diversity of any kind to Detroit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly in the City of Detroit, that`s -- they
haven`t had a Republican mayor in 50 years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Detroit is not really an example of the failure of
GOP economic policies. It`s been run by the Democrats for 60 years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The level of corruption in Democrat rule,
they`re -- to throw money at the problem, we`re going to just do whatever
the union say, that`s what led to the downfall of Detroit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible), entitlements, pricey union
benefits, look at where it got Detroit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Let`s be very clear about this. Democratic policies are not
the cause of Detroit`s downfall. Republican policies did all of this.
Republican policies when it comes to free trade, when it comes to
outsourcing of jobs, when it gets to call it about getting rid of the
manufacturing sector in that city, attacking labor, everybody makes way too
much money in Detroit and that`s the problem, low taxes, of course we`re
going to cut taxes. But here is the catch, withholding state money from
the city has held crash the city of Detroit.
Now, I don`t know what city you live in but let`s just think about
this. All of a sudden, your city and you pay state taxes. You`re not
going to get any save funds anymore. Oh no, not, no, no, no, no, no, you
live in (inaudible) USA, no, you don`t get taxes anymore for the state
legislature is holding the money from you so you have to suck it up. And
the numbers are pretty staggering.
You`ve got deregulation of Wall Street which is also hurt the pensions
and then when it came back, how much money did that go to the pension fund
to help out? Detroit lost roughly 300,000 jobs over the past 30 years.
There is no way a city survives when it loses 90 percent of its
manufacturing base. The tax basis eroded along with public services and
public safety. What`s the result? People are getting hell out of town.
Severe out migration and those who are staying there are getting stuck with
the bill. The City Government of Detroit didn`t ship the jobs overseas,
Republican policies did, and anyone who was in denial of that is simply
abyss (ph) to the facts.
The city of Detroit has lost 26 percent of its population since 2000.
The property tax revenue has dropped 19.7 percent since 2008. This is
pretty contemporary, folks. Make no mistake, this is exactly what Snyder
and his republican friends wanted. Now, they can wipe the slate clean and
start privatizing city assets, many of Detroit`s assets are on the table
including artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Banks who own good
homes and stable neighborhoods, well, they`re tearing them down. And the
long time residents in these neighborhoods are naturally outraged. This is
the systematic corporate destruction of an American city with a mission to
destroy public education, attack the voting block, attack the unions in
Detroit, and it is really been the focal point to privatize everything they
can get their hands on.
I have a jaded opinion in all of this. I actually believe in American
workers. I believe that workers should not be sacrificed if there are
policies and market forces that are having a big impact on a city. I
believe that we have an obligation to workers. I want to post in numbers
at you tonight. I know we got numbers but, you know, conservatives, they
like numbers. $24 billion, that`s the cost of the last shutdown. I
haven`t heard any conservatives in Washington raise any problem with that
at all, haven`t heard anything about offsets, $24 billion, well, when it`s
their way, they throw around billion dollar bills like their $5 bills.
That`s what the shutdown cost.
So, I understand debt, OK, and I think everybody in America has some
level of debt in their life. $18 billion debt to the city of Detroit,
that`s pretty hefty, there`s no getting around that, there`s no question
about that. But, when you have $66 million of state money that has been
denied by this governor to the city of Detroit, do you think maybe that $66
million could at least help make those pensions whole? Well, they never
saw the money. It was denied to the city. The total since 2002 is $167
million. Let me ask you, is that the way you`d like to run your city? Is
there an element of fairness in this at all?
Oh, by the way, I`d better mention that Snyder has thrown into $250
million because he certainly have to make the hockey team, the Detroit Red
Wings really happy. God forbid if they were to make a rich NHL owner pay
for his own damn facility, but that`s kind of how it goes in America. You
have these public and private municipalities and owners of teams get
together and they build these monuments of sports and everything else. And
certainly, well, well, it`s OK. We`ll put the $250 million to the hockey
We`ll stick it to the workers. You know, those cops who are on the
street for 30 years. You know those garbage collectors? You know, anybody
in the role of a city, is that fair? You mean to tell me that there`s --
that they -- if they`re going to do this to Detroit, they at least can`t
find some way to figure out we`re going to honor the pensions of everyone
because they`ve earned it and we`re going to get some state money to do it.
No, they`re not going to do that. They`re on the fast track. They don`t
want the story in the media. They don`t want it talked about. The last
resort is what, I guess the people maybe now taking it to the next legal
level to appeal it, maybe protest, maybe the next election. Oh, wait a
minute, they circumvent elections in Michigan. This has been had a real
good ending, does it?
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think tonight`s
question. Did conservatives get exactly what they wanted with Detroit`s
bankruptcy? Text A for Yes, text B for No to 67622. You can always go to
our blog at ed.msnbc.com.
I understand cuts and I understand business. This isn`t a business,
this is a city. These are people. These are families that grew up in
communities and they`ve been undercut by radical conservative policies and
they`ve been denied their fair share of state funds. And now, who`s going
to pay the price? Well, it`s not going to be the companies. It`s going to
be the workers. There is a real element of unfairness here.
For more, let me bring in Dr. Wendell Anthony, President of the
Detroit Branch of NAACP and Lee Gaddies who is a Detroit homeowner who has
been working to save homes in his neighborhood. Gentlemen, great to have
you with us tonight. Dr. Anthony .
REV. DR. WENDELL ANTHONY, PRESIDENT, DETROIT NAACP: Thank you Ed.
SCHULTZ: Yes sir. Dr. Anthony you first, is this a serious erosion
of democracy? I mean, why did they have any elections in Detroit?
ANTHONY: Well Ed, you call it. Your narrative really laid out the
situation in Detroit. It obviously is reduction and elimination of
democracy that`s why we are in fact still pursuing our lawsuit to the
NAACP. We did not believe that this filing of bankruptcy and the grinding
of it was necessary, it was premature, even Judge Roach (ph) in his ruling
agreed with us that it was not done in good faith, that it was done, it was
rushed 30 days is not enough time but he also indicated that they found a
partition in good faith. You know, my grandmother usually give us castor
oil when we`re coming up and then she would give us peppermint after which
to take away -- to deflect the taste.
Well, Mr. Orr today gave us some peppermint knowing that he has taken
away the democratic process through this bankruptcy, he and Governor
ANTHONY: And let me say to the nation, they`re just looking at
Detroit as if somehow it`s some unique situation. Stay tuned, it`s coming
to your community next. When you look at the 125 cities around this nation
that at the brink of bankruptcy, Detroit is the case model for that. There
was also, Ed another report that was done by the most think tank which also
portray and gave evidence that it would be filing of bankruptcy in Detroit
was premature, that there were alternatives that could have been held. I
encourage people to get that. We are not in this situation uniquely,
Chicago is there, Minneapolis is there, L.A. is there, Cincinnati is there,
so when we look at these Republicans .
SCHULTZ: You believe Dr. Anthony that this will be the model?
ANTHONY: It is the model, Ed because everybody and his mom and daddy
ANTHONY: . to see what`s going to happen in Detroit.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Gaddies, let me ask you. What does this really mean for
average citizens like yourself in the city of Detroit?
LEE GADDIES, DETROIT HOMEOWNER: .Ed as a tax-paying residence of
Detroit, you know, I am paying for services. What this ruling means number
one is that Detroit will maybe move forward with dealing with the
structural deficit through Chapter 9 Bankruptcy, but as the court ruling
show, it was rushed into bankruptcy.
Governor Snyder did not use bankruptcy as a last ditch effort to save
Detroit. He used it as a first ditch effort to make sure that his buddies
on Wall Street get paid first. The banks are the front in line with their
handout, looking for the money that Detroit generates. Detroit is not
broke. Detroit generates nearly $2 billion in revenue in tax revenue every
year. Not only that the Governor had his eye on the pension funds since he
got into office.
So, you know, for us we pay taxes because we want services. Kevin Orr
does not understand how to deliver that service. He does not understand
how to run the city. He understands how to take companies through
GADDIES: And if anybody thought that anything bankruptcy was going to
be the outcome when Jones Day and Kevin Orr is there and then they hire all
the consultants that come in from Wall Street, from Myers-Brinckerhoff (ph)
and all the other consulting firms that are gobbling up $5 million a month
in tax revenue from the citizens of Detroit and not putting up police
officer in the street, not putting a fire in a fire house and not putting
any more lights on in the city. I say that we are being taxed without
getting the services.
SCHULTZ: All right.
GADDIES: This taxation without representation for the citizens of
Detroit because we no longer have elected officials calling the shots. We
have Kevin Orr the emergency dictator calling this out (ph) for the
citizens of Detroit.
SCHULTZ: Well, obviously emotions are very high right now. This is a
bad move for America. It`s a bad model for America. And we`ll come back
and revisit the story for what is next for Detroit.
I don`t know what the upside is they`re taking, they`re going to take
money away from people who have worked for the city for years, all of a
sudden there are the problems. I think they`re going to after the voting
block. I think they`re some race involved here.
ANTHONY: No question.
SCHULTZ: I also think that this is about going after unions and
collective bargaining and setting up a new model for all cities to recreate
the way they want to privatize things around America.
This is the conservative Utopia. This is what it is all about.
Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony and Lee Gaddies we will revisit the story. I
appreciate your time tonight. Thank you so much.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen, share your thoughts on Twitter at Ed Show and on Facebook. We
appreciate what you do there.
Coming up, Scott Walker thinks he tops your kid`s Christmas list.
Plus working hard or hardly working, wait and see here how many days
Congress work this year and what their plan is for 2014. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders. Social media network on the Ed
Show, this is where you can find us, I appreciate it if you do,
Facebook.com/edshow, Twitter.com/edshow and ed.msnbc.com. On the radio
Sirius XM 127, Monday through Friday noon to 3:00. Our Ed Tour 2014 you
can find out more about that at wegoted.com.
Social media nation has decided and we are reporting. Here are
today`s top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re a mean one Mr. Grinch.
SCHULTZ: The number three Trender, gift of gov.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want for Christmas little boy?
SCHULTZ: Scott Walker, says he`s the greatest gift you could give
your kids this Christmas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want it brought right here with a big ribbon on
SCHULTZ: He expanded a tax payer finance school voucher program at
the expense of public schools.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.
SCHULTZ: He cut $1 billion dollars out of the education budget. He
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ho, ho, ho.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
SCHULTZ: The number two Trender, fight dream.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Soaring that super sonic speed rocket Jay
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, a curious puppy learned the hard way, the
squirrel always win.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Squirrel.
SCHULTZ: A poor pooch get stuck chasing a squirrel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, the squirrel made it through the pipe, the
dog as you see did not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get your back head out of there (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The veterinarians were able to sedate the pup
and safely remove his head from the pipe.
SCHULTZ: And today`s top Trender, vacation days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry folks we`re closed for two weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What?
SCHULTZ: The do nothing Congress got 239 days off this year.
The United States Congress remains in recess.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lawmakers are not hard at work they`re on
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you say you do here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some members of Congress off to join August recess
but 82 percent of voters say they didn`t worked hard enough to deserve
SCHULTZ: The current Congress could go down as one of the most
unproductive in modern history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio who
certainly wants to work at least 239 days this year. I know this
gentleman. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
You know, you and I have been friends for a while, is there any way
you can come forth with a bill so I can get 239 days off and still keep my
job? You know, the irony in this is that the Republicans always talk about
the province sector. They think the province sector is the answer for
absolutely everything. I like to know who would keep their job in the
private sector with 239 days off. What is happening here?
REP. TIM RYAN, (D) OHIO: Well, first of all Ed we want to make sure
you`re working as much as possible to get your message out. But, you know,
the bottom line is, you know, we do work hard when we`re back in our
districts. There`s no question about it. We do -- In my office we do a
lot of economic development issues, working with local businesses and
trying to expand the economy education programs and whatnot.
So -- But the reality is this schedule looks nothing like the Nancy
Pelosi speakership schedule that we use to have. I mean, we were working
four or five days a week, week after week, after week passing legislation
getting things done.
So, the only thing that concerns me more than us not being here is the
fact that when we are here we`re not getting anything done like the ENDA
Bill and other things that we should be passing here. We`re not doing
anything while we`re here.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Speaker Boehner says that they`re there to prevent
bad laws from getting passed. What`s your response to that?
RYAN: Well, I mean look at the Employee Non-Discrimination Act Bill,
we haven`t even acted upon that. You know, that`s a good piece of
legislation that supports the founding of principles of our country, but no
time to act on that.
We need a transportation bill to get people back to work, reinvest
back in the United States. We need a budget for God`s sake and we can`t
even get a budget passed out of the House when the Senate has wanted to
meet on one -- on numerous occasions.
SCHULTZ: But this is all part of the Republican obstruction to make
sure they don`t get anything done isn`t it?
RYAN: Yeah, no question about it. I mean, you`ve got the Tea Party
in the House of Representatives and there`s whole purpose is to burn down
the government and that means, you know, sometimes through attrition and
not acting and letting things, you know, just kind of weary on the vine and
that`s what`s happening down here. So, they`re achieving their goal.
SCHULTZ: And so, the schedule for 2014 under Senate is like 114 days
of work is that right?
RYAN: Yeah, something like that. Yeah. And so much needs to be
done. I mean, look at this in relation to where we are positioned
historically in the United States. The competition around the globe is
like it`s never been before. The inequality is about as unequal as it`s
ever been in our country`s history. But yet, we are still not hearing
Washington D.C. acting upon those -- on those issues.
SCHULTZ: So, shouldn`t this be a huge point being made by Democrats
in the campaign of 2014? Boehner didn`t want to work, all he wants to do
is play golf. He talks about the President playing golf, but in fact the
numbers are the numbers 239 days off. I mean how often can you go back
into your district? I mean come on, you`ve got a feel for your districts,
so does everybody else.
I mean, this is being manufacture by the conservatives to stop
everything that President Obama would like to see pass.
RYAN: No question. As much as our constituents back home want to see
us in the district, at the grocery store, involved in local projects, they
want us to be in Washington D.C. making things happen on behalf of the
country, no matter what little project you maybe able to do back in your
district if the weight of the federal government, if the investments, the
budget, the kind of gravy toss that the federal government could bring to
project isn`t there, it`s hard to get things off the ground and you`re
exactly right, like I said when Speaker Pelosi was in office we work hard.
SCHULTZ: 240 bills were passed I believe.
RYAN: 240 bills.
RYAN: Everything from Lilly Ledbetter to, you know, universal health
care and everything in between and energy bill came out of the House. We
were working hard. We took some hits along the way.
RYAN: But that`s your job. You get elected to do things and then
take the hits and hope they work out.
SCHULTZ: All right. Alabama loses Ohio State goes to number two to
get Michigan State this weekend. If you beat Michigan say because some
people think that`s a big if, should you be playing for national
RYAN: We got a big -- I think the sound like a coach. We got a big
game this week and we`re going to stay focused on Michigan State but if we
SCHULTZ: Tell them to play every play, will you? I mean, we got to .
RYAN: Well, if we win this, when there`s no doubt we should be there.
SCHULTZ: All right.
RYAN: No doubt.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Tim Ryan.
RYAN: Go Auburn too, big Ed.
SCHULTZ: All right. Thank you Tim. Tim Ryan from Ohio with us here
on the Ed Show tonight. Thank you.
Joining us -- Coming up the White House and its allies are going on
offense for ObamaCare. But I`m questioning what offense? Still ahead Vice
President Joe Biden in Asia pushing the agenda that as American workers
very nervous and all they`re talking about is a fly zone. We`ll get into
But next I`m taking your questions Ask Ed Live, just ahead. You`re
watching the Ed Show on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: OK, here we go. Welcome back to the Ed Show Ask Ed Live.
Love this segment. First question tonight comes from, I believe that`s
Reginald, yeah. Should members of Congress be drug tested?
Yes, I`m there, but I think they ought to be drug tested before the
election so we know exactly what we`re paying for because we`re finding out
at the last segment they sure is ain`t not working. Let`s at least, make
sure they`re not doing drugs.
Yeah, I`m for this. I think that they, you know, truck drivers get
tested. Many jobs at America that you`re applying for you have to take a
drug test so why not. I mean, they`re only making our laws, you know.
Yeah, I do. I think they should be drug tested and I think they should be
drug tested before the election as well.
Our next question is from Debbie Roy. She wants to know what do you
think about all the snow Fargo is getting?
Well, I guess the Northern Tier`s getting kind of blasted right now
but I am officially announcing tonight that I have retired from shoveling
snow. Too bad. Although the North Country is beautiful when it get snow
this time of year but, you know, I might have a heart attack broadcasting
but I ain`t never going to get one shoveling snow. Stick around. Rapid
Response Panel is next.
SEEMA MODY, CNBC MARKET WRAP: I`m Seema Mody with your CNBC Market
Wrap. The Dow is sinking 94 points, the S and P 500 losing 5, and the
NASDAQ down 8.
U.S. Auto Sales showing gains in November thanks to big discounts.
Chrysler was out front jumped at 16 percent, GM rose 14 percent, and Ford
up 7 percent. The home prices edged up 0.2 percent in October, that`s an
increase of 12.5 percent from a year ago. And Apple shares grows after a
UBS analyst upgraded it to buy and raises price target. There`s
speculation of a partnership with China Mobile.
That`s it from CBC first in business worldwide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Well, after weeks of
Republican attacks against the botched ObamaCare rollout on October 1st.
The White House and its allies well, they`re gearing up. They`re going to
go on offense.
What kind of offense? That`s my question. The White House announced
plans to highlight a new benefit of the Affordable Care Act everyday for
now until the December 23rd enrollment deadline for January 1st coverage.
OK, once a day we`re going to get something new. There`s a number of
things that are really good, that`s great.
Earlier today, President Obama kicked off his latest push and asked
Americans to help him spread the word.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m going to need some
help in spreading the word. I need you to spread the word about the law,
about its benefits, about its protections, about how folks can sign up.
Tell your friends. Tell your family. Do not let the initial problems with
the website discourage you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: OK. Now, this of course is going to turn into an all out
messaging war just how good are the Democrats going to be at this, which is
exactly why talk like this has to be countered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad apple
insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you
received or use minor preexisting conditions to jack up your premiums or
bill you into bankruptcy. So a lot of people thought they were buying
coverage, and it turned out not to be so good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, if he really wants to go on offense, President Obama
needs in my opinion to tell like it is about those bad apple insurers.
They are selling substandard junk insurance, but for some -- there just
seems to be a great deal of reluctance on the part of the Democrats in
their messaging war and on the White House especially and the President
There`s nothing wrong with the term, not offending anybody by using
the term junk, because if people are paying for something and there`s a
bunch of fine print in there, that`s exactly what it is, it`s junk. And
calling it junk insurance and identifying the junk insurance industry is
what this is all about. If you want to win the messaging war you have to
convince people that what they have been buying in the past doesn`t work
So, now we have the standards. We have quality put into the system
and yes in some cases people are going to pay a little bit more, but at
least they`re going to be getting something for it.
Call it what it is. Joining me now Rapid Response Panel nationally
syndicated columnist Connie Schultz and Eugene Robinson with us tonight
MSNBC political analyst and columnist for the Washington Post.
Connie you first, great to have both of you with us tonight. OK,
we`re in this messaging war now. Connie what plays in Ohio? What is --
When the White House says that they`re going on offense, what`s your
interpretation to that?
CONNIE SCHULTZ, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, I`ll tell you,
I understand your point about junk insurance and emphasizing that, but I`m
a big believer in the power of story and I am happy to see the President
owning this narrative because it is a story to be told.
I watched that conference, that news conference -- well it wasn`t news
conference, it`s press live today. The story that most stuck with me was
about a mother in Ohio with her 23-year-old daughter who is -- have -- in
cancer treatment for the second time and because she could stay on her
mother`s insurance a prescription that would have cost $4500 was only $25.
That was the (inaudible) deductible.
That is a very powerful story. And I can remember not that long ago
writing columns about how the number of free clinics in Ohio had doubled
over a very short period of time because we had so many people, working
CONNIE SCHULTZ: . who had jobs and no health care insurance or no
affordable health care. So, I think they`ll straight the numbers and the
numbers being the individual stories of people who are going to be
benefiting from this law, from this major reform.
SCHULTZ: I totally agree with you. I do believe that that is a big
part of the strategy to tell the stories and the actuality is golden in the
news business, so to speak.
Eugene Robinson, I ask you what you think, what does it mean when the
White House says they`re going on offense?
EUGENE ROBINSON, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I think Connie`s
absolutely right. I do think narrative is really powerful in most
circumstances but certainly in explaining the benefits of this law and also
I think that that the point that the President keeps making and I think
just needs to make again and again is that the old system didn`t work.
People face the choice between putting food on the table or paying for
health care. That`s not what we do in the -- what America should be.
That`s not what you do in a humane and civilized country. And I think he
needs to hammer that again and again.
You could use the word junk for the junk insurance but, you know,
there is this issue with the insurance company that mean they have to be a
part of this. This plan actually depends on working through and
cooperating with the insurance companies and there are people who debated
whether or not it should be, you know, planned out, single payer or not.
That`s why I was, you know, years ago and you and I might have been on the
same side of that but we didn`t win it, so.
SCHULTZ: So we can`t -- So it probably not good for the White House
to take the cable approach and be a little bit more arrogant about the
whole thing and call it junk insurance and then have to go into the room
and work with these guys? Gene is that what you`re saying?
ROBINSON: Well, I just -- What I`m saying very frankly, they`ve, you
know, if they want to sabotage this thing .
ROBINSON: . and if they, for example, want to say, "Oh, we`re getting
enough in the junk out of the website. We`re not getting the right, you
know, names and addresses of our new insured people. This thing is a
mess," and, you know.
Now, that`s kind of farfetched because in fact, they do have a lot of
money invested to those points. So they are polling forward to succeed
ROBINSON: But they`re kind of on the same thing.
SCHULTZ: Connie, do you think that voters, consumers, the American
people want to hear about this?
CONNIE SCHULTZ: I do and I think that they`re really tired of angry
talk. They want to hear the stories of how this is helping people. You
know, I keep hearing these stories and thinking about -- Ed, you and I are
not that far part in it (ph). I came from organized labor. My father was
a utility worker, a union member, utility workers local 270. Health care
saved my life. I was diagnosed with severe asthma and almost died twice in
my late teens. He had affordable health care. He had access to the
Cleveland Clinic. We lived in a small town, drove to the Cleveland Clinic
regularly and I`m alive today to talk about it.
We -- There are enough of us .
CONNIE SCHULTZ: . you know, the baby boom generation. We remember
when health care was -- it was understood that most Americans would have
access to it. And we need to call on that memory as we`re sharing the
stories now because that`s what America was supposed to be. That`s what it
was supposed to look like and that`s how we were supposed to treat our
I think, when you asked about voters, certainly here in Ohio, I hear
so much frustration, exhaustion, really .
CONNIE SCHULTZ: . with all the bitterness and they do want to hear
the success stories. And we got to quit using the work disaster when we
talk about the rollout. It has a lot of missteps. It`s also major reform
we`re bringing into play.
SCHULTZ: And the rollout is not now.
CONNIE SCHULTZ: That`s right.
SCHULTZ: I mean the rollout is history. It`s where we are right now.
And I thought we were in the now business. I mean, when you go into the
doctor and he says you`re sick and she says you`re sick, you`re all of a
sudden in the now business on getting well and I can guarantee you for
personal experience that insurance does make you a believer. There is no
question about that. It makes you a real believer.
Gene, what about congressional Democrats? How can they get on board
to make this effective? Do they make this the central part of the re
election campaign in `14?
ROBINSON: Well, I think increasingly, they do. I think now that
they`ve seen we`re in the now business and now that they see that the
federal website works well enough and we`ll continue improving but it`s
Now, I think they`re more willing to tell the stories of what`s
happening in a lot of state, for example that are doing really well to tell
those stories of individual people and to own ObamaCare because guess what,
they were going to own it any how. You can`t play defense and expect it to
even keep the Senate and let alone take the House. They`re going to have
to go on offense and they own this.
SCHULTZ: They got to own it. They got to own this new cycle the next
few months. The website`s only going to get better. The report yesterday
was if they had over a million people who were able to function through the
website. That`s a heck of an improvement.
Connie Schultz, Eugene Robinson, great to have you on the Ed Show. Thanks
CONNIE SCHULTZ: Thanks Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Mike Huckabee, the wannabe lands in Pretenders
SCHULTZ: And the Pretenders tonight. The Hard Luck Huckster (ph),
Mike Huckabee. The failed presidential candidate launched his radio show
just 20 months ago, not even two years ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rush Limbaugh has got some new competition, Mike
Huckabee Former Arkansas Governor and president candidate went live today
with his new radio show at noon, same time Limbaugh goes on the air, and
it`s really aimed right at Rush looking to peel away some of that market
which is clear from Huckabee slogan more conversation last confrontation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, you can`t get any bigger promotion on that. That`s the
largest news audience in American. Now, the great American quitter is back
to his old past time. A premature exit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The radio show of Former Arkansas Governor Mike
Huckabee is coming to an end. Its final show is going to end December
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You mean it didn`t make the nightly news and getting out.
Huckabee was supposed to be the alternative to the big threat towards
Limbaugh in the wake of the Sandy Hook (ph) comments. Remember all that?
Now that alternative is dead air. I wonder if his listeners are going
to be able to tell the difference. The Huckster now has the dubious
distinction of joining the likes of Sarah Palin as an all-American quitter
kind of going around on that on the conservative front. He seems to quit
Huckabee found out that he actually has to work for a living doing a
3-hour radio show, if Mike Huckabee wants us to believe he`s a real radio
guy. He can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to Ed Show. This is the story for the folks
who take a shower after work. I believe that every American needs to pay
attention to this deal, the Transpacific Partnership by President Joe Biden
is on a three nation tour of Northeast Asia pushing to the agenda of the
Biden who comes from a working class family, who`s father sold used
cars, has always been a friend of labor and he should be against this deal
show -- should the White House in my opinion.
All of the negotiation the TPP have been held behind close doors in a
cloud of secrecy but we do know the deal verifies multinational
corporations control over the United States economy and we should not be
handing over U.S. sovereignty to foreign corporations in trade deals. It
is bad for American workers period.
Opposition to the TPP is also fierce in Japan about 3,000
demonstrators mostly farmers rallied at a Tokyo Park during Biden`s visit.
They say a deal would be a major blow to Japan`s aging farming community.
If this deal passes it would be the largest free trade agreement in
American history besides the United States, Japan, the TPP negotiating
nations include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New
Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. And most recently South Korea
expresses its interest in joining the TPP talks.
This trade partnership is dangerous for American workers. I think
it`s a job killer and there is really no upside for American workers and I
think and I have to fairly point out that I think that this White House has
been inept when it comes to explaining to the American people and to
American workers, where`s the upside?
Leo Gerard is the President of the United Steelworkers International.
Mr. Gerard good to have you with us tonight. Coming to us .
LEO GERARD, PRESIDENT, UNITED STEELWORKERS: It`s good to be with you
SCHULTZ: . from Washington. Now there are some members of Congress.
I believe about 160 Democrats that actually some Republicans who have
signed on to the letter of the President saying this is a bad deal.
Does this trip by Joe Biden, the Vice President mean that this deal is
going to happen?
GERARD: Look, I don`t know if the deal is going to happen, Ed. I
know that there`s lot of opposition to it in the Congress. There`s a lot
of opposition in other countries. But let me make this point, since the
passage of NAFTA, there is not been a trade deal that`s been negotiated
that it turned out to be net job benefits for America.
And what we`ve done is have a serious of accumulated trade deficits
and I put this question to Congress, I put this question to Administration.
I would put this question to Vice President Biden.
If having a huge trade deficit is good economic policy, why doesn`t
Germany want one? Why doesn`t France want one? Why doesn`t China want
one? Why doesn`t Japan want one? None of them want trade deficits. The
country with the largest pre-deficit on the planet is America.
And this trade deal is going to ask American workers to compete with
workers in Brunei, it`s going to ask American workers to compete with
workers in Vietnam. That just can`t happen.
And I think this is going to be a bad deal. We need to deliver (ph)
we can, and there`s issues in that deal. What do we do about state on
enterprises that communist countries run or dictatorships run. What do we
do? We`re going to compete against the country, a company against the
country? What we`re going to do about currency manipulation. What we`re
going to do about offshore energy subsidies? All of these things are under
GERARD: So this is a bad deal being negotiated and secret and I`m
glad that you`re exposing it.
SCHULTZ: Well, Mr. Gerard. Well, you explain where President Obama
is on this. He has stated that he wants to get fast-track before the end
of the year.
GERARD: Look, I don`t think we can give him fast-track. This kind of
trade deals certainly, you know, and let`s just back up a bit. These are
treaties between countries and a treaty should come to Congress. They try
to bypass Congress by having so-called fast-track. They cut Congress right
out of the deal.
GERARD: And I want my Congress person whether it`s a he or she. I
want her or him to be able to fight for jobs in this country. And when you
cut them out, who`s going to have the say at the table. Who`s there?
SCHULTZ: Well .
GERARD: A multinational corporations and the Wall Street financier,
the same people that brought us the OED (ph) crash.
SCHULTZ: It is not good for workers and the middle class. No doubt.
The addition of South Korea, their intention to get involve with the pack.
Your take on that?
GERARD: Well, look at, we already have a deal with South Korea. We
see the results of it. Since we sign the deals with South Korea, the trade
deficit for America with South Korea has quadrupled.
We haven`t had that job benefits since the trade deal with Korea. So
Korea wants into the deal, but you know what? Korea could then take parts
from Vietnam and assemble cars in Korea and send those cars to us in
America when in the Korean trade deal, we counted 30 percent domestic
GERARD: . as a domestic created vehicle. So for the other 70
percent, they can get their parts from Brunei, they can get their parts
from Vietnam, they get their parts -- many will (ph) still call the South
Korean vehicle. That`s monarchy as (inaudible)
SCHULTZ: Quickly Mr. Gerard. Why hasn`t the administration explain
the upside the workers?
GERARD: I think they can`t explain the upside to workers because
there is no website, there`s historical track record, Ed that goes back
since after of every trade deal leading to net job lost for American
workers and the pressure to drive wages down.
SCHULTZ: OK. Leo Gerard, United Steelworkers International President
good to have you with us tonight. Well, stay on the story.
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz. Politics Nation with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now. Good evening Rev.
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