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updated 2/5/2013 12:05:44 PM ET 2013-02-05T17:05:44

THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
February 4, 2013

Guests: Katrina Vanden Heuvel, R.T. Rybak, E.J. Dionne, Karen Finney, Jonathan Alter, Michael Rogers


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

President Obama is tackling tough issues. But all the Beltway wants
to talk about is skeet shooting at Camp David?

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our law enforcement
officers should never be outgunned on the streets.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The president pounds away on gun safety as
shiny objects dominate the Beltway media coverage.

REPORTER: How often does the president go skeet shooting? And are
there photographs of him doing so?

SCHULTZ: Tonight, I`ll take the fourth estate to task for missing the
big picture, with Katrina Vanden Heuvel of "The Nation" and MSNBC`s Richard
Wolffe.

Plus, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak on how he is lowering gun violence
in his city, and how he thinks Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid needs to
get to work on guns.

The Boy Scouts are getting ready to end their policy of discrimination
against gays, and the president is standing with them.

SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS: Should scouting be open to gays?

OBAMA: Yes.

SCHULTZ: I`ll tell you how conservatives are fighting the process.

It`s the Super Bowl commercial everybody is talking about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God looked down on his planned paradise and said I
need a caretaker. So, God made a farmer.

SCHULTZ: God created the family farmer. I`ll tell you how
Republicans are destroying them.

All that plus, E.J. Dionne, Karen Finney and Jonathan Alter on why
conservatives are actually trying to blame the Super Bowl blackout on the
president.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

There is a major development on gun legislation today, but there is a
good chance you haven`t heard about it. President Obama continued the push
for common sense gun reform today in Minneapolis. He was surrounded by law
enforcement officers with the city and the state.

The president asked Americans to stand with the men and women in the
line of fire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Weapons of war have no place on our streets, or in our
schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers. Our law enforcement
officers should never be outgunned on the streets.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The president has outlined a full list of proposals to curb
gun violence in America. Very quietly, many of those proposals are picking
up steam on Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he
expects a bill will soon move to the Senate floor.

The package will include a universal background check, a capacity
limit on ammunition magazines, and improvements to record-keeping on mental
illness. A universal background check is in sight. And this is probably
what they`re really going to get.

Advocacy groups are trying to build momentum. Last night, this ad
from Mayors Against Illegal Guns aired during the Super Bowl.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: The NRA once supported background checks.

WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA: We think it`s reasonable to provide mandatory
instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. No
loopholes anywhere for anyone.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: America can do this for us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Opponents of a background check rely on fear-mongering. NRA
chief Wayne LaPierre spread ridiculous lies on FOX News Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAPIERRE: What they`ll do is they`ll turn this universal check on the
law abiding into a universal registry of law-abiding people. And law-
abiding people don`t want that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, law-abiding people want a universal background check
system. More than nine in 10 gun households want one. More than eight in
10 NRA members say the same thing.

The president is quick to point out the popularity of the law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We know for example from polling that universal background
checks are universally supported just about, by gun others, majority of gun
owners. The overwhelming majority of gun owners think that`s a good idea.
So if we`ve got lobbyists in Washington claiming to speak for gun owners
saying something different, we need to go to the source and reach out to
people, directly. We can`t allow those filters to get in the way of common
sense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The gun lobby is worried. The president is making headway
on this issue, which is why his opponents insist on distracting the country
with things like this.

The White House released a photo of President Obama skeet shooting
while at Camp David in August. In fact, it was on his birthday. The gun
lobby wants everyone to be talking about this photo.

And the press, what are they doing? They`re playing right along with
it.

This all started when "The New Republic" released a wide ranging
interview with the president. But the focus has been on this exchange.
The president was asked directly, "Have you ever fired a gun?" He answered
directly, "Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the
time."

The answer created a frenzy in the Washington media.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: How often does the president go skeet shooting? And are
there photographs of him doing so?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I would refer you simply to
his comments. I don`t know how often. He does go to Camp David with some
regularity, but I`m not sure often he`s done that.

REPORTER: Are there --is there a photograph of him doing it?

CARNEY: There may be, but I haven`t seen it.

REPORTER: Why haven`t we heard about it before?

CARNEY: Because when he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time
with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That`s what the American people want to know. That`s really
what they want to know. All these issues on the table, it`s how many, how
often, where, does he really?

Jay Carney`s answer is never going to be good enough, because it`s
about President Obama. "The Washington Post" wrote more than 1,300 words
fact checking the president`s answer. They wrote, "We are eager to see a
photograph or hear from someone who saw him at the skeet range, to put this
matter to rest."

Of course, FOX News was quick to keep the fire raging all week long.

So, the White House -- all right, they went along with it. They
released a photograph. Now what do you think? Instead of ending the
conversation, the press forced it even more, focused on it even more.

Now, "The Washington Post" was on defense. "Basically, all statements
by public figures are subject to scrutiny. The president made an
unexpected claim. And for nearly a week, the White House refused to back
it up."

But in the end, they concluded the issue is settled. Not according to
the White House press corps.

These are some of the questions Jay Carney was asked during his media
availability today. "Why release the photo now?" "Was the president
shooting skeet or trap?" "Does he ever shoot weapons -- or did he ever
shoot weapons before he was president?" "Did he ever shoot weapons
elsewhere?" "Will you release photos of friends or family or guests?"

Carney responded, "The fact is that the president was asked a
question. He did not volunteer, but was asked a question about whether or
not he had ever shot a weapon. He answered with the truth, which is he has
enjoyed shooting competitively with friends at Camp David on multiple
occasions."

Did they all pick up on that? "Multiple occasions."

This photo completely overshadowed the talk of universal background
checks is what we should be talking about and did nothing to end attacks
from the president`s opponents. The NRA mocked the president saying, "One
picture does not ease a lifetime of supporting every gun ban, every gun
control scheme imaginable."

Well, the Washington press has a responsibility to ask the president
tough questions about things affecting all Americans. A photo of the
president shooting skeet does not affect gun laws one bit. It only
distracts from the major issues at hand.

So the bottom line come downs to this: the smiles are great at the
press conferences with Jay Carney. But is this really what the American
people are concerned about, what the president does on his free time at
Camp David? And does he always have to step forward with some evidence
that he`s told the truth to reporters? And this is just a big demand
coming from the Washington media that he has to show this photo so
everybody will believe that he really has touched a gun and fired a gun and
has some noise canceling headsets on.

Kind of parallels the birthers, doesn`t it? We won`t believe it until
we see it and still won`t believe it after we see it.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.

Tonight`s question: Does the Beltway media have America`s best
interest at heart? Text A for yes, text B for no.

We`ve got a new number tonight. Here is the text number: 67622. I`ve
got to learn how to say that fast. That`s right. We have a new text
number. It is now 67622.

You can always go to our blog at ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll bring you the
results later on in the program.

I`m joined tonight by Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor, part-owner of
"The Nation" magazine.

And also with us tonight, Richard Wolffe, vice president and the
executive editor of MSNBC.com and an MSNBC political analyst.

Great to have both of you with us tonight.

I`ve never seen a picture get so much attention, except when Dick
Cheney shot somebody in the face, which the president hasn`t done.

Katrina, is the press being negligent when we start getting down to
the serious conversation of background checks that they`re focusing on
stuff like this?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION MAGAZINE: Yes, I mean, I think
we`re looking at inside the Beltway media malpractice. It`s not new, Ed.
I`m thinking we`re on the tenth anniversary of Iraq, and the press
essentially -- much of the press played stenographers to power, not an
accountability watchdog media which we need.

This skeet shooting incident has nothing to do, it`s utterly
irrelevant with the actual policy proposals now under debate. So you have
to ask yourself, who does the media inside the Beltway think it`s
representing? We`ve seen these problems before.

The country is worried about joblessness. Inside the beltway, the
media keeps pushing the president on debt and deficits.

I`d like to know also, you think of the fundamental issues confronting
this country. But on the gun issue, why isn`t -- why wasn`t there a single
question about the 15-year-old Chicago girl, Hadiya Pendleton, who marched
in the parade in the inauguration and was gunned down, the 42nd victim of
gun violence in Chicago in January? That might be relevant to the issue of
how do you stop trafficking of illegal weapons, and relevant to the actual
policy debates under way in this country.

SCHULTZ: Richard, why does inside the beltway media have a propensity
to focus on things that people don`t care about?

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I`ve been part of that
press corps. I was there in the time in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

And, by the way, there were people who were asking those questions.
But as a pack --

VANDEN HEUVEL: Yes.

WOLFFE: As a pack mentality, this is a game. And, you know, look,
the war in Iraq was serious. Don`t get me wrong. But we`re talking about
kids in America who were killed and how to respond to that.

And so, you know, the disjoint between this photo, what the president
does in his leisure time, whether it`s real or not, how often he does it,
and the cold, hard facts of American children being killed by assault
weapons in our schools, that seems to be -- we didn`t know where Iraq would
go. I`m not trying to make any excuses for how the press corps behaved.

But we have two very compelling stories here. One of them is actually
about children dying and how you respond to that. And the other is about a
photo. So I actually think they have kind of disappeared into their own
world and their own competitive desires, which is -- let`s have some fun
with this. Let`s get some clicks and let`s have something that is
shareable. People love that photo.

But at the heart, if you`re going to hold people accountable, if the
"Washington Post" is true to its word, you hold public officials
accountable not for a random comment, but for their policy, for the effects
of their policy. That`s what the job of the press is.

VANDEN HEUVEL: There has to be a sense of an accountability media.
And I think too often, and it comes from the top too when we face
corporations where the news enterprise is a small cog in the system, that
you`re witnessing sometimes the obliteration of the line between news and
entertainment.

That`s why there was more attention to Beyonce were she lip-syncing or
not than to perhaps some of the issues and policies in the president`s
inaugural address, or Kim Kardashian`s baby bump. Those kind of issues
take too much of our time when we should be talking about the crises facing
our country.

And too often the Beltway media follows power, doesn`t raise the tough
questions that people in a democracy deserve to hear. We need to learn
more about what is going on with the gun debate.

And, by the way, the president going to Minneapolis, I think is very
important, because he needs to get outside of D.C. and press his message,
as he did in Las Vegas with immigration, as he did today in Minneapolis --
a city which has seen a drop of youth gun violence by 41 percent, and those
optics of law enforcement behind him. He knows he needs to know what he
didn`t do effectively as much post-2008. Get out of the Beltway.

SCHULTZ: Well, that`s where he is most effective, there`s no question
about that. But here we are on the verge of trying to get something done.
And the media is focusing on the president skeet shooting instead of the
president talking about universal background checks and will Harry Reid
actually bring the assault weapons ban to the floor. Some real heavy
stuff.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But we`ve seen this before. The serious policy
debates don`t get the coverage they deserve.

But the president can drive it more. And media, like "The Nation" or
MSNBC can try to amplify the serious messages that need to be heard, the
serious policy, the serious accountability journalism that needs to be
heard if there is going to be some advance.

WOLFFE: Let`s just be clear here, OK? So say the president gets the
background checks that we all assume that is going to be there. And if
Wayne LaPierre thought it was a good deal once, then maybe he`ll think
ultimately it`s a good deal again. But that wouldn`t have stopped this
particular shooting in Newtown.

However, the high capacity magazines, that`s where the press needs to
ask the questions. Is the president willing to go out, stick his neck out
on the line for this and say this is what his administration really cares
about? That`s where, you know, there is real journalism to be done in
terms of what the White House strategy is. So, it`s not the photo.

SCHULTZ: Closing the gun show loophole would be a big step forward
because that`s 40 percent of the sales in this country. Obviously, the
background checks, the magazine, all of that stuff -- you know, people`s
lives are definitely been lost because of some things have slipped through
the cracks. We can do a better job. Yet, we`re focusing on the president
skeet shooting. I find it amazing.
Great to have both of you --

VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: -- with us tonight, Katrina Vanden Heuvel and Richard
Wolffe.

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

Coming up, President Obama tries to offer solutions, but the NRA
mouthpiece Wayne LaPierre keeps throwing up roadblocks.

In Minneapolis, they have reduced crimes by 40 percent. R.T. Rybak
joins us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Brownie does a heck of a job, mocking the Superdome blackout
on Twitter, and the Republicans use the event to attack the president`s
energy policy. The big panel takes on the Super Bowl politics, coming up.

And President Obama`s evolution on gay rights continues, while
Republicans claim there is a war on Scouts. We`ll have the latest on the
Boy Scouts` big decision on gay members later.

You can listen to my radio show at Sirius XM Radio Channel 127, Monday
through Friday, noon to 3:00 p.m.

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

We`re coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Today, President Obama pushed for solutions to gun violence by taking
his ideas for common sense measures to Minneapolis, which has had huge
success on the issue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: This city came together. You launched a series of youth
initiatives that have reduced the number of young people injured by guns by
40 percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: This weekend, we learned of another high profile senseless
killing. Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and another man, Chad Littlefield,
were killed Saturday at a gun range in Texas. The two men had taken a
veteran, former marine, Eddie Ray Routh, to the gun range, and Routh
allegedly shot both of them. Routh reportedly has a recent history of
mental illness and is in police custody on a suicide watch.

The gun lobbyist self-appointed mouthpiece Wayne LaPierre was asked
about the latest tragedy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAPIERRE: You fix the mental health system. Every police officer
knows people on the street that should be institutionalized because we
after they`re institutionalized, they`re out there walking around on the
street. We need to change our civil commitment laws. We need to change
the mental health system, fund it, get it to work, get these people,
interdict them and get them into treatment. We`re not doing that.

I still would like to see the mental health records computerized, but
we can`t even get that done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: LaPierre was also asked about President Obama`s push for
universal background checks. Here`s what he had to say about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAPIERRE: It`s a fraud to call universal. It`s never going to be
universal. The criminals aren`t going to comply with it. They could care
less.

You`re not going to computerize -- you`ve seen you`re got stopgap to
computerize the mental health records. So here`s what`s going to happen.
We ought to quit calling it right now universal check. The real title
ought to be -- the check on law-abiding people all over this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Although LaPierre fully supported background checks back in
1999.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAPIERRE: Let`s talk what`s reasonable and what`s not. We think it`s
reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for
every sale at every gun show. No loopholes anywhere for anyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The solutions for these tragedies aren`t always simple, but
it doesn`t mean we should be giving up.

Joining me now is R.T. Rybak, mayor of Minneapolis.

The president -- great to have you with us tonight, R.T. I appreciate
you coming in on this subject. It`s so vitally important.

MAYOR R.T. RYBAK (D), MINNEAPOLIS: I`m thrilled you`re covering it,
Ed.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

President Obama praised the efforts of your city. How did you do it?
How were you able to impact the youth gun violence in Minneapolis?

RYBAK: Well, the Minneapolis model for reducing gun violence was
really, especially about young people. We focused on at the whole
community together, 32-point plan that was really tied to surrounding young
people with trusted adults and intervening at the first sign of at-risk
behavior. And we worked the plan and worked the plan and worked the plan.
Forty percent decrease in juvenile crime is a huge impact.

But one of the reasons the president was here was to say that was good
work. But one of the reasons we wanted him here was to say it`s not
enough. We need common sense laws, because I`ve been at too many homicides
with a mom and a kid who is dead and trying to explain where did that gun
come from. And there are laws that the police and the federal officials
can`t share information there are laws that say mental health records can`t
be computer sized.

Change those laws. Fix that, and help us bring a little more peace to
the streets.

SCHULTZ: Where are we right now? I bring you forward on this
subject. You understand you were critical of Harry Reid today.

Here`s Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. I want you to respond to
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: have I said to Senator
Leahy, I want a bill to come out of the Judiciary Committee. If Dianne
Feinstein, by the time it`s through the Judiciary Committee, if she doesn`t
have her assault weapons, at least let her have an opportunity to offer
this amendment.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC: Will you vote for it?

REID: Oh, I don`t know. I -- frankly, and she knows, I haven`t read
her amendment. I didn`t vote for the assault weapons last time because it
didn`t make sense. But I`ll take a look at it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Mayor, is Senator Reid doing enough to move this
legislation?

RYBAK: I believe he should read the amendment and listen to a former
mayor, Dianne Feinstein, who stuck her finger in a bullet hole at a scene
of a crime. That`s what we see as mayors.

In Washington assault ban weapon, it`s a political issue. Here is how
it sounds to me. My daughter will be teaching school next year. If
somebody is in the horrible situation of shooting in that classroom, and
they`re forced to reload the gun, that may be my daughter`s life, that may
be your child`s life. Force people to reload.

My God, if we can`t do that, it`s horrible enough about what`s
happening out here. But stop and think about it. When you hear an assault
weapons ban, don`t think about what they`re talking in Washington. Think
about forcing people to reload so we can walk back at least a few lives in
mass murder.

My God, isn`t that enough?

SCHULTZ: So you`re saying that in Washington, the assault weapons ban
is political. So, would you go so far as to say that the lobbyists are
intimidating the lawmakers?

RYBAK: Right.

SCHULTZ: The lawmakers know what to do, they just won`t do it?

RYBAK: Well, I`m a politician. A lot of things are political. But
what does seem to happen is there is this whole thing like oh, gee, the NRA
is going to un-elect me. By the way, they lost most of their elections.
They lost their number one goal, which is to stop President Obama.

So let`s get away from this idea that everything we do has to be
because we`re afraid of the NRA. There are lots of good NRA members, and
they`re law-abiding citizens. Their leaders are seemingly out of control.

And what we need to do is to have people get a backbone and say that,
yes, it is right to not have our police outgunned. Yes, it is right to say
that if we have the option between a shooting and a mass murder, we should
choose, my God, the least of those hideous things. That`s the kind of
common sense we need people to have, and guts we need them to have.

And by the way, if you`re afraid of the NRA, I want you to talk to
some of the real lobbyists out here, the people who have been victims,
whose families have lost people. They`re by the thousands now in this
country, and they`re multiplying every day. You want to see a lobby that`s
going to be on your case if you don`t take action? We got them all over
this country.

SCHULTZ: But why isn`t Harry Reid being stronger, in your opinion? I
mean, you heard his answer there. He said he didn`t vote for it before.
It doesn`t sound like he is going to vote for it again.

Isn`t this a moment for leadership? I mean, if the majority of
Americans want this, shouldn`t the Senate majority leader step up and say,
you know what? We got to move in this direction.

RYBAK: Well, I don`t think Harry Reid is the only problem. The
problem is that folks in Washington have calculated that they think it`s
bad politics to be for banning weapons and clips that force you to reload.
They think that`s bad politics.

And I think their calculation is just wrong.

SCHULTZ: OK.

RYBAK: I think it`s good politics. And my God, it`s the right thing
to do.

SCHULTZ: Mayor R.T. Rybak, good to have you with us on THE ED SHOW.
Thanks so much.

Coming up, Chrysler ran a great super bowl ad this year praising the
American family farmer. But farms will be in danger if Congress fails to
pass a farm bill. I`ll have the details for you coming up.

And who killed the likes of the Super Bowl? Right-wingers have their
theories. Jonathan alter, Karen Finney and E.J. Dionne will weigh in on
that and much more.

Stay with us. We`ll be right back with THE ED SHOW.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.

You know, some voices just stop you in your tracks and command
attention.

Last night, America was treated to a two-minute commercial about the
American small farmer, voiced by the deceased radio icon Paul Harvey.
Harvey was the voice of Middle America for 51 years. Chrysler used a 1978
speech by Paul Harvey that he gave to the Future Farmers of America to
highlight their new Ram trucks.

Here is the rest of the story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL HARVEY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: And on the eighth day, God looked
down on his planned paradise and said I need a caretaker. So God made a
farmer. It had to be somebody who would plow deep and straight and not cut
corners, somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, brake and disk and plow and
plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk, somebody who would bale a
family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and
then sigh, and then reply with smiling eyes, when his son says that he
wants to spend his life doing what dad does. So God made a farmer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That writing, that distinct delivery -- spectacular ad, no
doubt about it. But unfortunately, being a family farmer in America is a
dying profession. You can thank Republicans for their decline. In 1935,
there were 6.8 million farms in America. Today the number has dropped to
just over two million. And out of the remaining pharmacy, most are
struggling to stay in business.

Out of the 2.2 million farms in operation, 1.9 million are small
family farms. Small family farms make up -- what -- 87 percent Of total
farms in the United States, but they produce only 15 percent of the total
crop value.

On the other hand, very large family farms and corporate farms bring
in the remaining 85 percent of profit in America in the industry.
Meanwhile, small family farms are always, I guess you could say, one
disaster away from extinction. One in four of these farms make less than
50,000 dollars a year. If a drought or any disaster hits, these small
farms don`t have a chance.

But large farms and corporate farms can take a hit from time to time.
This is why it`s so important for Congress to do its part to protect the
family farmer.

It starts, I guess you could say, with the Farm Bill. Price supports
and disaster relief, very important, are things that only will keep the
family farms in business in tough times. The Senate passed their version
of the Farm Bill last session. But as expected, John Boehner`s do nothing
House sat on the bill.

And now it will have to be redone in the 113th Congress. Boehner
doesn`t need a single Democratic vote to pass this thing. He has the
majority. If he is for the American farmer, if he is for the Heartland, he
ought to bring the Farm Bill to the floor for a vote.

But he refuses to do that. I hope John Boehner and the rest of the
House Republicans watch Chrysler`s ad and understand what it means.
Farmers helped build America, and are vital to our future success as a
nation. If small family farms get into trouble, they deserve help from the
government.

Chrysler did another fantastic job this year with their ad. They are
providing and proving again what American exceptionalism is all about.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh-oh, we lost lights.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: When the lights went out in New Orleans, you knew it was
just a matter of time until Republicans started blaming President Obama.
Jonathan Alter, E.J. Dionne and Karen Finney on the politics of the big
game is next.

Plus, the right-wing freak-out to the president`s latest endorsement
of equality.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should scouting be open to gays?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And first it was a miracle in the desert. Now Ohio`s
radical Republican governor is actually coming around on Obamacare. We`ll
explain John Kasich`s liberal conversion ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t really know exactly what is going on, so
we`re going to stay by the door, be close to an exit. But otherwise,
staying calm.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, for 34 minutes, 108 million Americans watched a
stadium full of football fans sit in the dark. Super Bowl XLVII will
probably be best remembered as the game where the lights went out. Where
does Don Meredith when we needed him?

And now the officials are trying to figure out just what the heck
happened. The NFL has ruled out Beyonce as the culprit. The entertainer
used her own generators for the halftime show. And Superdome authorities
say that a substation detected an abnormally and automatically cut power.
But at this point that`s all they know.

Fortunately, conservatives have a few theories of their own. Many
right-wingers took to Twitter. Social media just blew up, and of course
blamed the Obama administration, pointing to this Department of Energy
press release detailing the city of New Orleans embracing of energy
efficiency.

"The Daily Caller" writing "what is more energy-efficient than
darkness? Green is the new blackout."

This Tweet from Herman Cain, "the Department of Energy wanted you to
know that last night`s Super Bowl was the greatest -- or the greenest ever.
Then the lights went out."

From a "Wall Street Journal" columnist, "Super Bowl XLVII is brought
to you by Solyndra."

And from Laura Ingraham, "how long before we hear from the White House
about the need for another multi-billion dollar stimulus to rebuild the
power grid?"

And Donald Trump, "the country is being run just like the stadium."

Meanwhile, former Bush administration FEMA director Michael Brown --
you know Brownie -- who spent days ignoring what was going on in the
Superdome during Hurricane Katrina, used the blackout to comment not on
infrastructure, but on the residents of New Orleans. "Someone just told me
there was fighting going on in New Orleans Superdome. #Shocked."

Let`s bring in our panel tonight. Jonathan Alter with us, of
"Bloomberg View," MSNBC political analyst Karen Finney, and also
"Washington Post`s" E.J. Dionne.

Well, sometimes the right just doesn`t take a rest on anything. I was
absolutely surprised to hear from Brownie last night during the Super Bowl.
Who would have ever thought it? E.J., what was most surprising when it was
all unfolding to you?

E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, first of all, I mean, I`m
just shocked that Brownie wanted to get out there on anything having to do
with New Orleans. I just wanted to turn it around a little and say that my
Super Bowl MVPs are the electricians, the technicians and other workers who
got those lights back on in a half hour, a little over a half an hour.

I mean, we don`t realize or think much about how much we depend on
folks like that until we really need them. But in terms of these other
explanations, I am just surprised that the right hasn`t yet blamed Beyonce
for being a secret partner of Solyndra. I mean, what are they going to
come up with?

SCHULTZ: The other point here is that, Karen, they just never miss an
opportunity to go after the president and degrade him, do they?

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: That`s right. And remember,
Beyonce was a supporter of the president. So I`m sure if there is some way
to pin it back on her, they will figure it out. But sure, any opportunity
to blame the president -- and frankly, the Tweets that you just shared
distract from what is a very real conversation that we should be having
about the power grid, about infrastructure in this country.

That`s not a conversation they want to have.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan, your thoughts on how it all unfolded in the
aftermath?

JONATHAN ALTER, "BLOOMBERG VIEW": You know, I kept being struck by
why they didn`t let the players warm up before they resumed play. They
were risking injury. Fortunately, there were not any injuries as a result.
But it`s standard in those situations to give them some warm-up time.

Then I realized money talks. You know, the advertisers obviously did
not want to have any longer of a delay. There was so many -- there was so
much money at stake that they were willing to risk injuries to resume the
game.

SCHULTZ: These guys are professionals. They know how to get ready.
I was rather entertained by all the conversation about oh, how is this
going to affect them psychologically? Who has the advantage? Finally it
got back to Phil Simms and he said, you know what? They`re professionals.
They know how to handle this. I Tweeted out, "thank you, Phil Simms".

ALTER: But no, the 49ers had a huge psychological advantage after the
blackout. It was really peculiar. They just put all these points on the
board right away. So sometimes these things can mark kind of a
psychological break point in the momentum of a game. And the Ravens went
on to win. But they almost lost.

FINNEY: I was sort of intrigued by the idea that nobody thought --
half the lights were on, and yet the thought of potentially, I don`t know,
continuing without all of the sort of bells and whistles that we have
become so accustomed to was just not even an idea on the table.

SCHULTZ: The Super Bowl didn`t have a light backup plan. I mean,
come on, America. I mean --

ALTER: You know, this is only the kind of thing that nerds --
political nerds like us would say. But the only comparable situation I can
remember, when the whole world was watching, was in 1976 when Jimmy Carter
and Gerald Ford were debating, and they had this blackout, this technical
problem. And for several minutes, they just stood there on the stage. And
100 million Americans just stood by until the debate resumed.

SCHULTZ: Well, I got to ask the question, who came out with the
momentum after the lights went out? I can`t remember that one.

ALTER: I think Carter. He went on to win the election.

DIONNE: But the 49ers and the Ravens handled the blackout better I
think than Carter and Ford did that night.

SCHULTZ: All right, we`ve got to commercial. E.J., your thoughts on
Paul Harvey`s voice being used from a 1970 type commercial to the Future
Farmers of America, and then, of course, selling trucks? And we know that
the landscape in America and life has changed so much in rural America.
What did you make of this?

DIONNE: I loved the ad. In fact, I thought it -- what it reminded me
of was the Clint Eastwood ad for Chrysler. And the advantage they have is
Paul Harvey is not going to come back with a chair at a Republican
convention. But I thought it was a beautiful ad. You almost expected to
hear John Cougar Mellencamp`s old songs that he used to sing at Farm Aid
concerts, is what I was thinking as I was watching.

SCHULTZ: Was there a political message there at all, do you think,
Karen?

FINNEY: I do, actually. As it was playing, sort of thinking that
there is a slice of America that we`re losing. I mean, you talked about
that, frankly, just before this segment. I mean -- and there are very real
reasons why family farmers and small farmers are struggling in this
country.

And you know, there were beautiful images and things that we should be
very proud of in terms of the American ethic of hard work and all of that.
And yet we`re not taking care of those values and not cherishing those
values and doing the things we can to preserve that in the ways that I
think we could be.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan, what about the ad that the Mayors Against Illegal
Guns took out. Effective? Your thoughts.

ALTER: Well, yeah, I think it was effective. You know, this is a
long twilight struggle, as JFK said about the Cold War. This issue is not
going to be resolved soon. It`s not just about whether there is an assault
weapons ban, whether this piece of legislation that comes up is as complete
as you and I would like it to be.

Liberals and common sense supporters of gun safety need to look at it
in the long-term. And the mayors are playing an important role, but they
need more people.

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

ALTER: -- like those in the farm ad, in the Chrysler ad, those folks
to get involved, to really make change on guns.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan Alter, Karen Finney, E.J. Dionne, great to have you
with us tonight. Thanks so much.

Ohio Governor John Kasich says yes to Medicaid expansion. Is
Republican resistance to Obamacare beginning to weaken. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Today Ohio Governor John
Kasich broke ranks with the Republican party`s unified objections to all
things Obamacare and said that he will push to expand Medicaid under the
Affordable Care Act.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: Now I, as you all know here, am not a
supporter of Obamacare. But I think that this makes great sense for the
state of Ohio. And it makes great sense for the state of Ohio because I
think it will allow us to deliver care, using our dollars, to people who up
until now haven`t even been able to afford care through their job or they
weren`t able to even find a job, and they`re extremely poor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So he is not a fan of it, but he is going to good ahead and
do it. OK. Kasich is the fifth Republican governor to make the case for
Medicaid expansion. And supposed Obamacare opponent has reason that sounds
surprisingly liberal.

Currently, one out of every five Ohioans is on Medicaid expansion.
and it would make an estimated 365,000 additional Ohioans eligible for
coverage beginning in 2014, reduce the financial burden on community and
rural hospitals, which currently provide uncompensated care.

And the bottom line here is this: it makes fiscal sense. The federal
government would pay for 100 percent of the cost of newly eligible
enrollees for the first three years, dropping to 90 percent by 2020.
Governor Kasich is smart, which is why he has accepted the political
reality. President Obama has been reelected, Obamacare is here to stay,
and Medicaid expansion is the responsible thing to do, no question about
it.

Suddenly, instead of selling himself as a Tea Party approved budget
hawk, Kasich is playing the part of the compassionate conservative. Kasich
knows that running for reelection in a purple state requires a more subtle
approach. Kasich`s fellow Republicans may cry foul, but any reasonable
person should be celebrating this step in the right direction, whatever the
motivation is.

Tonight in our survey, I asked does the Beltway media have America`s
best interest at heart? Five percent of you say yes; 95 percent of you say
no.

Coming up, they call it the war on Boy Scouts. Find out which
conservatives should get a merit badge from fear mongering. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, conservatives are freaking
out about what they believe is the end of an American institution. They`re
worried the Boy Scouts of America could allow gay members. Last night the
president weighed in on it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should scouting be open to gays?

OBAMA: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why so?

OBAMA: Well, because I think that -- my altitude is that gays and
lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else
does.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Major corporate sponsors want to lift the Boy Scouts` ban on
gay membership. The national executive board could vote this Wednesday to
lift the national gay ban, and allow local troops to make their own
decisions. Rick Santorum calls it a war on scouts. He says "the board is
abandoning the organization`s founding moral principles."

The former presidential candidate thinks it`s a challenge to the
Scouts` very nature, and that the left is trying to remove God. Santorum
also predicts "every troop will get sued or members will just simply
leave."

Santorum calls this "the end of scouting," and says, quote, "I hope
the board of the Scouts doesn`t have its fingerprints on the murder
weapon."

Texas Governor Rick Perry is equally dramatic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: What has worked very well for scouting
and to have popular culture impact 100 years of their standards is
inappropriate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: But this isn`t about a fad or popular culture. Scouting
membership has dropped 21 percent since the Supreme Court upheld the gay
ban in 2000. Adult membership is down 14 percent. And there are almost 13
percent fewer scouting units nationwide.

Boy Scout sponsors know we`re a center-left nation. People like
Santorum and Perry pretty much, by the numbers, are out of step.

Let`s turn to Michael Rogers, gay activist and managing director of
RawStory.com. Mike, good to have you with us tonight.

MICHAEL ROGERS, RAWSTORY.COM: Thanks, Ed. Good evening.

SCHULTZ: The president weighing in on this, does this change
anything?

ROGERS: Well, I think, as we saw across the country when the
president put out his opinion on marriage, that people pay attention. He
is able to use the bully pulpit to help educate Americans. I`ve already
heard from people today who were not even aware of the ban on the Boy
Scouts having openly gay leaders and members.

So I think just from an educational perspective, and the certainty of
his answer, as you saw, where when asked it was an immediate yes -- there
was no hesitation in any way, whatsoever. And I think that the American
people see that and take that to heart.

SCHULTZ: When you listen to staunch conservatives like Santorum and
Rick Perry, you have to ask the question, will lifting the ban on gays
destroy scouting? They believe it will.

ROGERS: Well, you know, if something was destroyed every time Rick
Perry or Rick Santorum said that it was going to be destroyed by some cause
or action, the planet would be destroyed I think at this point.

SCHULTZ: Well, why does scouting ban gays? Why have they in the
past?

ROGERS: Well, I think there has been a real misunderstanding that by
banning gay people, they`re protecting kids from things like adults with
inappropriate sexual activity, when the statements and the facts actually
point to something totally differently. It`s that when people are
repressed, whether it`s men or women -- but men, when they`re repressed in
their sexuality, we see that they turn and do things to young children.

Most child abusers are heterosexual. The people who are putting out
misinformation would try to convince you otherwise. And I think in this
day and age that, as we see marriage taking root across the country and
things like that, people are starting to realize those are, in fact,
outdated thoughts.

SCHULTZ: Do you expect religious sponsors to weigh in on this soon?

ROGERS: I do. I think there is a variety of religious sponsors that
will be involved. And the scouting program is a large part of the Mormon
church, of their youth program. And of course they haven`t exactly had a
very pro-gay record, if you know what I`m saying.

So it will be interesting. And also to see what the donors and the
corporate sponsors. That`s been a big motivator in this, where
corporations are stepping up to the plate and saying, we will no longer
fund something that excludes a portion of society for no reason whatsoever.
Going so far, we`ll say, is that it`s actually pretty certain that the
founder of the Boy Scouts himself in England was gay, the original guy who
founded scouting.

SCHULTZ: I didn`t know that. Looking -- moving forward on this, do
you think it will change any of the focus that scouting has?

ROGERS: You know, I think it`s one of these things that it will be in
the news for a few days. There will be a little dust-up. And just like
the military, which hasn`t collapsed, the country hasn`t been attacked --
and you know, the whole military isn`t running out. I think the same thing
will happen. It will be a short thing. And people will be fine.

SCHULTZ: Point well taken. Mike Rogers, thanks for your time
tonight. I appreciate it.

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts
right now. Good evening, Rachel.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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