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updated 2/11/2013 12:30:57 PM ET 2013-02-11T17:30:57

THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
February 7, 2013

Guests: Sheila Jackson Lee, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Northup, Martha Plimpton, Terry O`Neill

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

The Obama administration`s policy of targeting Americans comes under
attack on Capitol Hill.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. RON WYDEN (D), OREGON: Every American has the right to know when
their government believes it`s allowed to kill them.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The president`s pick for CIA takes a grilling
over the targeted killings of American citizens.

JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR NOMINEE: People are reacting to a lot of
falsehoods that are out there.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, the man who broke this story, Michael Isikoff of
NBC News on the revelations for the Brennan confirmation hearing.

First, it was Virginia. Now, Michigan is flirting with state-mandated
vaginal probes. There`s a late update on this story. I`ll talk war on
women with NOW`s Terry O`Neill and actress Martha Plimpton.

Senator Bernie Sanders has a new plan to stop corporate tax dodgers.

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Corporations are
people, my friend.

SCHULTZ: The senator unveils his new bill here tonight.

Plus, someone actually made the Paul Harvey farmer ad better.

And Governor Chris Christie wants everyone to shut up about his
weight.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Shut up.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Reverend Al Sharpton is here to give the governor
some tips on becoming the biggest loser.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

The confirmation hearings of CIA director nominee John Brennan got off
to a rocky start today. Human rights protesters from the activist group
Code Pink interrupted the hearings before they even started. John Brennan
is the architect of the Obama administration`s drone warfare program, which
includes targeted killings.

Once the hearing got under way, there was another disruption. The
protester was escorted out. Then, there was another. Same thing. Seconds
later, there was another, and then another.

Finally, chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein, broke up the
proceedings.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: We`re going to halt the
hearing. I`m going to ask that the room be cleared and that the Code Pink
associates not be permitted to come back in. We`ve done this five times
now and five times are enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The chaos underscored the controversy of the
administration`s policy. Many Americans want to know how the United States
can order the killings of American citizens without due process.

Earlier today, the Justice Department provided Congress with
classified documents about the targeted killing program.

This disclosure was sparked by a leaked memo obtained by NBC News
saying the government gets to define which individuals are considered
imminent threats.

But senators were not allowed to talk about the documents, which are
still classified. Senator Feinstein did say it`s time for full disclosure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FEINSTEIN: When I asked to give out the actual numbers, I`m told you
can`t. I say why not? Because it`s classified. It`s a covert program.
For the public, it doesn`t exist.

Well, I think that rationale, Mr. Brennan, is long gone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: John Brennan would not commit to additional disclosures, but
he defended the legality of the program.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRENNAN: The president has insisted that any actions we take will be
legally grounded, will be thoroughly anchored in intelligence, will have
the appropriate review process, approval process before any action is
contemplated, including those actions that might involve the use of lethal
force.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: To be fair, it sounds like the Bush administration all over.
Democrats and Republicans voiced their concerns, but it was independent
senator from Maine, Angus King, who questioned the executive power of the
president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: Having the executive being the
prosecutor, the judge, the jury, and the executioner all in one is very
contrary to the traditions and the laws of this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Unilateral execution power of the president is causing
concern among progressives in America. No doubt about it.

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden asked Brennan, how can the United States
target Americans who have been denied due process?

Brennan`s answer was consistent with the administration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRENNAN: Any American who joins al Qaeda will know full well that
they have joined an organization that is at war with the United States and
that has killed thousands upon thousands of individuals, many, many of them
who are Americans.

Any member of al Qaeda, whether they`d be a U.S. citizen or non-U.S.
citizen, needs to know that they have the ability to surrender anytime,
anywhere throughout the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The controversy is not going away. The boundaries of
transparency are still undefined.

Get your cell phones out. We want to know what you think tonight.
Tonight`s question, do you agree with the policy of targeted killing of
American citizens? Text A for yes, text B for no, to our new number. Our
text number now is 67622.

You can always go to our blog and leave a comment at Ed.MSNBC.com.
We`ll bring you the results later on in the program.

Tonight, I am joined by NBC News national investigative correspondent
Michael Isikoff, who broke the news of Department of Justice memo earlier
this week.

Mr. Isikoff, good to have you with us. Thank you.

MICHAEL ISIKOFF, NBC NEWS NATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Good
to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Did John Brennan say anything today in your professional
opinion to shed light on the targeted killing program?

ISIKOFF: Not much. In fact, in some respects he said less than he`s
said before. I listened closely through the entire hearing, and Brennan
never once used the word "drones." He talked about lethal operations. He
talked about counterterrorism operations.

But even though he himself in a speech last year had -- was the first
to publicly acknowledge this drone campaign that the Obama administration
has dramatically accelerated, he almost pulled back from that today, which
was kind of ironic because we thought this hearing was coming at a moment
when the administration was going to be more transparent. President Obama
last night ordered the Justice Department to share the classified memo with
members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. His aides
indicated this was part of an effort to be more transparent and open about
this program.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

ISIKOFF: But we heard very little of that from Brennan today.

SCHULTZ: Well, it seems like the administration is saying, look,
we`re on solid legal ground, it`s up to you to figure out whether we are or
not. I mean, do you think the senators are on board with this?

ISIKOFF: There`s clearly divided views on the Intelligence Committee.
Some like Senator Wyden, Senator Udall, and a few others, want to -- want
to see those legal justifications. They can read them now.

But, by the way, under the rules set up by the Justice Department the
staff and lawyers can`t come in to examine them. Only the senators can
read it. They can`t talk about it because it`s still a classified memo.
They couldn`t ask Brennan about it at all in the hearing.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

ISIKOFF: So, this is reminiscent in some ways of the way the Bush
administration briefed congressional leaders about the enhanced
interrogation program.

SCHULTZ: Very similar, very similar.

ISIKOFF: Staff weren`t allowed to come in. They couldn`t talk about
it. And what they were told and what they were not told became very, very
murky.

SCHULTZ: Senator Wyden took issue with the classified information
provided to the Senate committee. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WYDEN: Eleven United States senators asked to see any and all legal
opinions, but when I went to read the opinions this morning, it is not
clear that that is what was provided.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: It seems we`ve reached the limit to the oversight that
Congress can expect on this issue, or expect to offer on this issue. I
mean, it`s limited information, even going to the intel committee.

ISIKOFF: Exactly.

SCHULTZ: Are Americans going to have to rely on more leaks to get
information?

ISIKOFF: Well, look, you read the white paper, which we did get a
hold of and which we posted on NBCNews.com. And you see just how much
latitude there is in the language in defining the three-part test of when
an American who`s suspected of being an operational leader of al Qaeda can
be targeted. You know, starts with imminent threat of violent attack, then
capture is unfeasible, then operation will be conducted according to law of
war principles.

You dig into that imminent threat of attack. The memo talks about a
broader concept of imminence than having specific intelligence about an
ongoing plot. It says if there was past activities and the target hasn`t
renounced those activities then the assumption can be made that they`re
involved.

Look, I mean, there`s no question there are bad guys out there who are
trying to kill Americans. And from everything the administration has said,
Anwar al-Awlaki may well have been one of them.

But the question is, this is all based on secret intelligence. As
we`ve known very clearly from recent years, secret intelligence can often
be floored -- flawed. What is the review process? What are the checks on
this? Who`s looking over the shoulder to make sure that they`ve got it
right? And those are the questions that this whole issue raises.

SCHULTZ: We are back to the fundamentals of checks and balances.

Michael Isikoff, great reporting. Thank you for joining us tonight
here on THE ED SHOW.

Now, let`s turn to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who is a member
of the Homeland Security Department and also the Subcommittee on
Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

Congresswoman, nice to have you with us on the program tonight.

Are you concerned at the level of transparency in this program?

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: Thank you, Ed. Thank you for
having me.

Let me just also express my concern on the violence, the gun violence
going on in LA. and the cops that have been shot know everyone`s prayers
are with those individuals out there.

Absolutely, I`m concerned about our present status with respect to
drones. And I understand the American people`s concern. I understand that
we are a nation of values and of laws. I do want to make the point that
none of us who are expressing this concern want to do anything to harm
those agents who are in the field as part of the agency to put them in
harm`s way. And I think that should be clear, that the American people
value what happens and how we`re protected through gathering of
intelligence.

I think the White House did the right thing, though some would say
that they wanted more by directing the DOJ, the Department of Justice to
send that --

SCHULTZ: But people have been waiting --

LEE: -- to the Office of Legal Counsel.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, people have been waiting for these memos for
a long time. They have been less than forthcoming.

LEE: Absolutely. Absolutely. And here`s my perspective on this.

One, we need to protect those in the field. But two, we`ve got to
understand even after 9/11, those of us who are on the Judiciary Committee
who fought long and hard when the Patriot Act was being crafted, for us to
recognize that even though we have been in this dastardly, devastating loss
that we will never forget, that we had to deal with the Fourth Amendment
and we had to deal with the issues of what this country stands on, and that
is to value due process and to value our rights.

SCHULTZ: Absolutely. There was a big -- there was a big discussion
in this country about the FISA Court and the Fourth Amendment and the
Patriot Act, but it doesn`t seem the intensity is there on this issue.

Here`s John Brennan`s exchange with Senator Wyden today about killing
of innocent people with drone strikes. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WYDEN: If the executive branch makes a mistake and kills the wrong
person or a group of the wrong people, how should the government
acknowledge that?

BRENNAN: In the interest of transparency, I believe the United States
government should acknowledge it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, are you satisfied with that answer?

LEE: I think what is the direction that Congress should take is the
direction that Senator Feinstein has mentioned.

One, that we may need to look at a legislative fix, if you will, that
deals with recounting our values, the Fourth Amendment, and then also just
as we did, I dealt with the FISA court. All of that time frame a lot of us
had the Patriot Act as it came out initially completely redone. We had a
bipartisan initiative. Of course, that went haywire.

But what I think would be important is that we look at that format of
a judicial review. Not harming those in harm`s way, in the field, but
being able to utilize it as we`ve done for electronic surveillance. It
will not, I believe, undermine in any devastating manner, but it should be
reviewed as to how it could be utilized because people are trouble.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

LEE: I think it is important, Ed, for us to be able to acknowledge
that we live in a different world. I also think it`s important to
acknowledge that the drones allegedly were used for those who became enemy
combatants on foreign soil.

I used -- I gave my expression of concern for what`s going on in L.A.
simply to say this. I don`t think none of us would tolerate the use of
that kind of technology here in the United States --

SCHULTZ: Sure.

LEE: -- for anyone engaged in the violence that that individual`s
engaged in. But we do understand we live in a different world. It is
important --

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: Well, we do live in a different world -- we do live in a
different world, but we`ve got the same old Constitution and we`ve got the
same old government of checks and balances --

LEE: Absolutely.

SCHULTZ: -- that we have to go through.

And this is very similar to the way the Bush administration executed
the war on terror. Would you agree?

LEE: Well, let me say this. I think President Obama has expressed a
concern by the -- even though it didn`t happen when senators were asking
for it. And this is an issue of the intelligence committee, both House and
Senate, by issuing and directing the DOJ to get that information out.

SCHULTZ: OK.

LEE: We can`t walk the same footsteps of the Bush administration, but
we must walk the same footsteps in protecting the nation against terrorism.
We have now expressed our concerns. I think members of Congress,
appropriate members of Congress --

SCHULTZ: All right.

LEE: -- will huddle on behalf of the American people, and we will
raise the specter, as has been done in the committee hearing, of the Fourth
Amendment --

SCHULTZ: OK.

LEE: -- unreasonable search and seizure, and the opportunity for
review.

SCHULTZ: Thank you, Congresswoman. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
--

LEE: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: -- thanks for your time tonight here on THE ED SHOW."

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

Coming up -- this is what liberals have been waiting for -- corporate
tax dodgers, you are on notice. Your days of stashing billions of dollars
in the Cayman Islands may be coming to an end if there`s enough votes in
the Congress.

Senator Bernie Sanders is the man with the plan and he joins us next.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up, state-mandated transvaginal probes are making a
comeback as we rejoin the war on women already in progress. Actress Martha
Plimpton joins the big panel tonight for the discussion.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says the chubby-chasing media needs
to shut up. Reverend Al Sharpton joins me later to talk about losing a ton
of weight. And he`s got some advice for the governor tonight.

And more on who`s responsible for the reductions in the Post Office.

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

We`re coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

We`ve talked about economic fairness on this show. And thanks to the
re-election of President Obama, tax rates on the top 1 percent finally went
back to the Clinton rates of 39.6 percent.

Now, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is taking action to bring
fairness to huge corporations not paying their fair share.

This is what the election was about.

The story always starts with the vulture chart, doesn`t it? Because
it shows huge income inequality between wage earners in the top 1 percent
over the past 30 years. There`s a huge difference.

Income disparity won`t be fixed overnight, but at least the top 1
percent are back to paying the Clinton tax rate since President Obama won
the fiscal cliff fight.

Now, the other part of this is the corporations. The effective
corporate tax rate has been declining for decades. About 25 percent of
large corporations paid no federal income taxes in at least one of the last
five years. Is that fair? Big question mark.

The effective tax rate for corporations is low because of loopholes
encouraging corporations to do what? Keep their profits offshore. Less
tax revenue for huge corporations hurts our economy. You want more
revenue? Here`s your bill.

It`s a matter of economic patriotism to ask corporations to pay their
fair share after they`re making their money on our soil. This is the
picture of the Ugland House. You know what it is? It`s a small office
building in the Cayman Islands which many companies use as their mailing
address, even though their operations are located primarily in the good old
United States of America.

This is yet another way to claim a tax break, and it`s a tax break
these corporations should never be getting in a fair society. So there`s a
lot of talk about more revenue. Every Democrat should be on board with
this bill.

Let`s turn to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Senator, great to have you with us tonight. Appreciate your time.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Good to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Your bill tackles a number of issues, a number of problems.
Explain how the corporations are keeping profits offshore for us and how
it`s actually hurting the economy and what your bill would do to change all
of this.

SANDERS: Ed, the debate right now in Congress is whether or not we
cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other enormously important
programs for the middle class. That`s what the Republicans want.

What some of us want is to say wait a second, as you`ve just
indicated, one out of four profitable corporations pays nothing in taxes.
Corporations in terms of their profits now, their rate is at 12 percent,
the lowest since 1972. Compared to Europe, our corporate contribution to
the tax revenue is the lowest of any major country on Earth.

So the question is how do we deal with that? And one way we deal with
that is we say that it is absurd for large corporations to be able to stash
huge amounts of money in countries like the Cayman Islands, which have a
zero tax rate.

They have no real presence there at all. All they have is a mailbox.
And that building that you just showed has 18,000 corporations.

It is a sham. It`s a farce. We`ve got to end that. Corporations
cannot put their profits there.

SCHULTZ: Senator, this is an election issue. This is what we just
had a big conversation in this country about.

In your bill, I understand, will raise $590 billion in revenue over
the next decade. And it does this without double taxation. Take us down
that road.

SANDERS: What it means right now is you have corporations who instead
of paying an American tax rate of 35 percent are paying zero. And then you
have an incredibly complex, manipulative system which allows them to deduct
the taxes that they pay in other low-tax countries like Ireland.

So what we are saying, if you`re an American corporation, if you`re
proud of being American, if you want to sell your products to America you
have to pay your fair share of taxes and cannot behind some -- cannot hide
behind some phony postal box in the Cayman Islands.

Furthermore, furthermore, this is a jobs issue, not just a tax issue.

SCHULTZ: Sure, it is.

SANDERS: Because what we`re doing is encouraging corporations to move
their manufacturing plants, their offices to other countries where the tax
rates are much lower.

SCHULTZ: Well, you know, when President Obama says we need more
revenue, I mean, this is the remedy. This is what this is all about. And
this is what you have introduced.

I`m glad you`ve done it. And it really is -- I think it warrants the
support openly of the White House.

I mean, how else are you going to get more revenue into the Treasury?
Other than this avenue?

SANDERS: Well, what concerns me, Ed, is -- you asked the right
question. What the White House is saying, yes, we want tax reform, we want
to look at these issues, but we want to do it in a deficit-neutral way so
that we will lower tax rates and eliminate these loopholes. To my mind
just this one piece of legislation, which I think is a sensible piece of
legislation, support I believe by the vast majority of the people in this
country, could bring in all by itself close to $600 billion in a 10-year
period.

The choice as Americans that we face -- do you cut programs that the
middle class and working people desperately need or do you ask finally
large corporations who have gotten away with murder for years to start
paying their fair share?

SCHULTZ: You know, even if we weren`t looking at cuts at the big
three, this is still terribly wrong. There`s still no fairness in this
game whatsoever. And they have lobbyists have gamed this all the way to
the floor of the Senate. And there`s no question that it needs to be
changed. And if this election was about change and if it`s about fairness
for the middle class, I would expect every progressive group and every
Democrat and the president to get on board big-time on this.

Senator Sanders --

SANDERS: You`re absolutely right. I would only add that revenue
today at 15.7 percent of GDP is the lowest that it`s been in 60 years. We
need revenue. This is one way to do it.

SCHULTZ: Senator Sanders, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks
so much.

SANDERS: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Coming up, the slow death of the United States postal
service has real victims, and they are mostly in Republican backyards.
We`ll go to the map and show you red country, what they call real America -
- this is what the Republicans are doing to you.

And tonight, bad news for women who want to keep the government out of
their bodies. The Republican war on women -- well, it`s back on.
Different chapter. It`s as bad as ever, and we`ve got the big panel
talking about it tonight.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Thanks for staying with us tonight on THE ED SHOW.

Sarah Palin, she called it "Real America". Look at the 2012 election
map. Look at all that red that`s there. That`s "Real America", isn`t it?

That`s Republican territory, or what Republicans like to call "Real
America". That`s where Republicans are elected year after year. And it`s
the area that`s going to be hit the hardest by the restructuring of the
Post Office -- a restructuring crisis created by the very Republicans
elected in "Real America".

Now, while many Americans, you`ll shrug off the Postal Service`s
decision to suspend Saturday service delivery, the consequences, my
friends, could be devastating. Not just that we`re going to lose 225,000
jobs that are at stake, but the Postal Service has already started to
close, or drastically reduce hours of operation at 13,000 rural offices
across "Real America". Many rural communities that are Republican, that
have less than reliable access to the Internet, depend on the Post Office
to send mail, to do business. And they are going to be faced with shorter
hours at the Post Office, meaning business is going to get hurt. It`s
going to be less competitive. Many people think that companies like Fed-Ex
and UPS, oh, they`ll just come in and fill the gaps. They are wrong.

It`s estimated that about 30 percent of Fed-Ex ground shipments are
actually delivered by who? The United States Postal Service. Why?
Because it`s cheaper for UPS and Fed-ex to make the postal service deliver
to real America.

You see, the Post Office is required by law to provide universal
delivery, regardless of geography and regardless of whether or not they`re
going to make a profit. It`s a big service for America. This is a rights
issue. This is more -- not so much about convenience. This is about what
you in real America voted for. Tea Party America.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. TODD AKIN (R), MISSOURI: If it`s a legitimate rape, the female
body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Just when you thought it was a truce in the war on women,
another Republican wants to force women to undergo mandatory vaginal
probes. Actress Martha Plimpton, NOW`s Terry O`Neill, and Nancy Northup
will rejoin the war on women already in progress.

If you thought Paul Harvey`s farmer ad was good, wait until you see
Funny or Die`s version.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get me to factory farm, backed by powerful
interest groups that spend hundreds of millions lobbying Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And the Reverend Al Sharpton has a generous offer for Chris
Christie. Tonight, Reverend Al joins me to tell the New Jersey governor
how to become the biggest loser.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Good to have you back with us tonight. For all its talk of
rebranding, the Republican party doesn`t seem to have learned the lessons
of the last election. The GOP has resumed its war on women with
Republicans in Michigan plotting the next battle.

On Tuesday, Republicans introduced a bill requiring all women to
undergo a transvaginal ultrasound before having an abortion. Now, you may
recall similar measures were introduced last year in Virginia, but
Republicans backed off after serious pushback by a number of groups.
Tonight, Republicans in Michigan seem to find themselves in a very similar
predicament.

House Speaker Jase Bolger now says "he has absolutely no interest in
forcing a woman to have a transvaginal ultrasound." Bolger vowed his
chamber would not adopt any kind of legislation that would require the
procedure.

Meanwhile, in Tennessee, Republicans want to mandate a less invasive
yet still medically unnecessary trans-abdominal ultrasound if a woman
refuses to view the ultrasound image. Now, the ultrasound technician would
be required to describe the image to the patient and force her to listen to
the fetal heartbeat.

Here`s how the bill`s sponsor, State Senator Jim Tracy, explains his
motivation. "My wife had three babies and I`ve had the opportunity to see
three ultrasounds. It`s pretty amazing to see the ultrasounds."

Yet the bill doesn`t make any exceptions for victims of rape or
incest. And perhaps the most extreme out of touch bunch in America you`ll
find in Iowa, where Republicans have introduced a bill there that would
define abortion as murder. As the "Ames Tribune" newspaper reports and
says, "those charged with murder under the bill would include a mother who
takes abortion-inducing drugs or a doctor who performs an abortion. It
also grants no exceptions for rape, insist, or to protect the life of the
mother."

So here we go again. I`m joined tonight by Terry O`Neill, president
of the National Organization for Women. Also with us tonight is Nancy
Northup, who is the president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. And
actress Martha Plimpton joins us this evening. Martha joins us from the
set of her TV series "Raising Hope," which airs Tuesdays on Fox.

Great to have all of you with us tonight. Terry, isn`t this just more
evidence? I mean, the Republican party`s been talking about rebranding and
here we are back at square one. they`re back after the same old wars?
What about it?

TERRY O`NEILL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN: You know,
Ed, I think what they don`t understand is that they need to change their
policies. Changing their rhetoric is not enough. And suddenly you have
the legislator from Michigan backing off. I don`t believe they`re really
backing off that far.

What they think they can do is use kinder, gentler language and still
pursue a very extreme, really misogynist set of policies. The thing is
that the voters are not fooled. And you know, it`s not just women that are
not fooled. Male voters are with us, especially on keeping abortion safe
and legal, especially in the earliest term of pregnancy, which is when over
90 percent of abortions are done.

SCHULTZ: Martha, what do you make of what happened? It seems like
political pressure in Michigan may have turned this around. Your thoughts
on that?

MARTHA PLIMPTON, ACTRESS: Well, you know, they got a national
audience. You know, they had a lot more people look at them than I guess
they expected to have. And when that happens, when the larger population
of the United States becomes aware of these smaller bills or these smaller
efforts in states, or -- when they become aware, they get mad, because they
recognize what`s happening.

These are laws that are essentially designed to codify coercion, to
make coercion a law, that women be forced into doing something that is not
only unnecessary, but that they don`t want. They also assume -- these laws
also assume that women don`t understand the implications of what they`re
doing already.

They assume that women are stupid. And that we aren`t aware of the
biology of what`s happening to us, and that we haven`t made our decision
already when we`ve walked into that doctor`s office.

These laws also seek to undermine the relationship between patient and
doctor, which is a very important, sacred relationship. And essentially,
they`re saying that the state has a stake in what you do with your body.
And when the larger population -- when the American people get wind of
that, they let you know that they do not like it.

SCHULTZ: Nancy, Republican governors have rejected the Medicaid
expansion. Won`t that also affect women in a great way?

NANCY NORTHUP, CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: Well, of course. I
mean, it was one of the things that was well promised in health care
reform, is that low-income Americans would be able to have access to good-
quality health care. And of course with women it`s essential that they get
access to good-quality reproductive health care. So it`s -- I want to say
criminal that they`re being excluded.

SCHULTZ: What do you make of Iowa? I mean, this is as aggressive as
it`s ever been. Your thoughts?

NORTHUP: Well, I think what`s happening in Iowa isn`t good. And what
people have to understand -- and this goes to Martha`s point -- is that
there are so many of these restrictions on access to abortion that are
flying under the radar screen. Once in a while it pops up. But it`s
important, Ed, that you`re having this on your show tonight so that people
realize.

I mean, there have been 400 bills dropped in state legislatures this
year just on access to abortion. And so it`s important that we realize,
yes, Iowa, North Dakota, Mississippi and Arkansas --

SCHULTZ: It almost brings the women`s movement, Martha, to a new age
of activism. I mean, it`s just got to be constant, doesn`t it?

PLIMPTON: Yes. And you know, listen, I`m not thrilled that we have
to do it, that we have to revisit this fight. There`s a reason we had it
in the first place. It was because before Roe v. Wade, women were dying.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

PLIMPTON: We know what life was like before women had access to the
full range of reproductive health care services that are guaranteed by the
Constitution. We know what life was like for women before Roe v. Wade.
And we`re not willing to go back even if there are people in state
legislatures who`d like to chip away at that right. We`re remaining
vigilant.

And we have to. We absolutely have to remain vigilant.

SCHULTZ: Turning to the Violence Against Women Act, it has protected
women from domestic abuse for 18 years. It has had broad bipartisan
support in the past. But now House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is blocking
the bill`s reauthorization by not bringing it to the floor for a vote.

House Republicans have objected to new provisions that expand
protections for same-sex couples, also undocumented workers and Native
American women. Here`s Senator Susan Collins pleading to members of her
own party earlier this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: This is not and never should be a
partisan issue. This is an equal opportunity crime that harms people
regardless of their political affiliation, their profession, their
location, their status in life. It is an issue that deserves bipartisan
support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Terry, it sounds like Republican leadership just isn`t
willing to listen to this. And this is discriminatory here. And they
won`t even bring it up for a vote.

O`NEILL: You know, the kind of Violence Against Women Act that the
Republicans tried to pass in the House in the 112th Congress, last time
around, was accurately characterized as exclusionary, racist, and
homophobic. And here comes Eric Cantor singing the same old tune.

You know, in the 2012 elections, the one thing that the Republicans
should have learned is they have a problem with women. And they have a
problem with women specifically on the issue of rape. You would think that
knowing that they have that kind of a problem, they would be willing to
pass an inclusive version of it, that is about to pass in the Senate --
it`s going to pass in the Senate.

And what I am really eager to say is whether Eric Cantor remains
adamant about not allowing tribal authorities to have jurisdiction over
rape suspects.

SCHULTZ: He just gave a speech earlier this week about where the
Republican party`s got to go. Nancy, what does this tell you?

NORTHUP: Well, all of it tells us that we have to get back to
thinking about the well-being of women. As you said, it has to be about
women and the men who support them saying enough is enough, drawing the
line. We`re not going to have this. Women should have access across the
nation to reproductive health care. They should have the same rights in
Mississippi that they have in New York. And they should be safe
everywhere.

SCHULTZ: How vulnerable does this make women now?

O`NEILL: You know, Ed, the appropriations are still there right now
for the services provided under the Violence Against Women Act.

SCHULTZ: I mean, when did this become political?

O`NEILL: Honestly, it became political after the 2010 elections,
which is the first federal elections cycle after the Citizens United case.
When you give extreme right-wing leaders of huge multinational corporations
a green light to go and buy all the elections they want to buy, which the
Supreme Court did in Citizens United, you get this.

SCHULTZ: And you know, Martha, when did it become political? I`ve
got to ask you that same question too. The women against violence act --

PLIMPTON: Well, listen, there`s always been a desire, at least in,
you know, my lifetime, to politicize women`s bodies and women`s health.
That is something that, you know, the women`s rights movement has struggled
against for many, many generations before ours. What`s important is that
we remember that our health and our lives are not political tools, and that
American women reclaim not only their rights but their voices, and actually
get engaged and speak out and make sure that they are actually
participating in claiming -- you know, we may not all agree on what the end
game is for our lives as we live them.

But we must agree on every single American`s right to live their life
as they see fit and to experience physical autonomy. And one of the ways
that we can do that is by ensuring that women have the right to access
abortion and other reproductive health care services, and also recognizing
that women deserve and have the right to speak out about being protected in
their homes and their workplaces and et cetera with the Violence Against
Women Act.

SCHULTZ: Martha Plimpton, thank you for your time tonight. Nancy
Northup and Terry O`Neill, always great to have you with us tonight on THE
ED SHOW. Thanks for joining us.

Coming up, the best commercial from Super Bowl Sunday gets even better
with a little help from Funny or Die. We`ll show you that next. Stay with
us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SCHULTZ: And we are back. Earlier this week, we highlighted
Chrysler`s great Super Bowl ad praising the American family farm. However,
we did bring attention to the fact that the family farm is struggling while
agri-business -- big agri-business is thriving in America. Now the website
FunnyOrDie.com has parodied the commercial and made it slightly more
accurate. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

And back when America was founded, 90 percent of the population were
farmers. But now it`s less than one percent. So God made a factory farm.
And then God wanted to maximize yield. So God made pesticides and
herbicides and genetically modified seeds that are resistant to those
chemicals.

And God let Monsanto patent those seeds. And God said, sometimes
agri-business grows crops that no one needs, but they still want to get
paid. So God made farm subsidies. And then God noticed, there sure is a
massive corn surplus out there. So God made high fructose corn syrup.

And God said, well, now we`ve got to do something with all this corn
syrup. So God made Mountain Dew and Cookie Crisp and Gushers. And then
God said, OK, now it just seems like Americans aren`t willing to do farm
labor anymore. So God made Mexicans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: If you want to see the rest of the video, you can visit our
website at Ed.MSNBC.com. Sometimes the truth hurts.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you do you agree with the policy of
targeting of killing of American citizens? Seventy eight percent of you
say yes; 22 percent of you say no.

Coming up, Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, says size doesn`t
matter. But a doctor says the governor is dangerously wrong. We`ll talk
about weight and politics with someone who personally understands both
sides of the issue. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie is telling a doctor to shut up about his weight and his political
prospects. The doctor just happens to be a former White House physician.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I worry that he may have a heart attack. He may
have a stroke. It`s almost like a time bomb waiting to happen unless he
addresses those issues before he runs for office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Here`s part of Governor Christie`s passionate response
yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: That a doctor in Arizona who`s
never met me, never examined me, never reviewed my medical history or
records, knows nothing about my family history, could make a diagnosis from
2,400 miles away, completely irresponsible.

My children saw that last night. And she sat there on TV and said,
I`m afraid he`s going to die in office. My 12-year-old son comes to me
last night and said, "dad, are you going to die?"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Governor Christie seems pretty angry right there. But just
a few days ago he was joking about his weight on David Letterman. He
pulled out a donut, right out of his pocket, and got big laughs.
Christie`s poked fun at his weight for years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: Not asking me about Hostess Twinkies, are you?

You think you can behind this microphone having me talk about
Twinkies? This is a setup, man. I know it. You people are the worst.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris Christie, thank you for coming back to visit
our show. Oh, stop it. Really? Did you try the --

CHRISTIE: The bacon cheeseburger was amazing.

BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": I think you are a little overweight.

CHRISTIE: More than a little.

WALTERS: Yeah.

CHRISTIE: Yes.

WALTERS: Why?

CHRISTIE: If I could figure that out, I`d fix it.

It`s bad that I even said the word Twinkie from behind this
microphone. You`re not getting me to do that. No way. David? And don`t
go to Devil Dogs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: But obesity is honestly no laughing matter. The "Washington
Post" reports 20 percent of all health care spending goes towards treating
obesity and related complications. Governor Christie`s already been
treated for asthma. He says he`s healthy. But he`s at a higher risk of
diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

He says he won`t disclose his weight, but he insists that this should
not be a factor in his political career. He says he`s just fine. But
doctors and political analysts say to be president of the United States,
you`ve got to be physically fit because it is part of the job.

So tonight let`s bring in someone who personally understands both
sides of the issue. Joining me tonight, Reverend Al Sharpton, host of
"POLITICS NATION" here on MSNBC. Rev, great to have you with us.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thank you. Great to be here.

SCHULTZ: There was a time in your life when you were one big dude.

SHARPTON: Yeah.

SCHULTZ: You went through a lifestyle change, and you turned it
around. How hard would it be for Christie to do this?

SHARPTON: I mean, it`s all about willpower. I was over 300 pounds.
I`m maybe around 140, 142 now. And I did it with no surgery. I just
decided to lose weight. I became a vegetarian. I started working out.
You`ve got to have enough discipline and purpose about it.

And I think that what the governor -- if I was the governor, I`d be
upset if somebody said I`m going to die. But he`s going to have to answer
the question. I think the doctor might have gone overboard. But if he
thinks that Americans don`t have the right to ask anyone that`s going to be
the head of the free world their health conditions -- and obesity is a
health condition -- then I think he`s sadly mistaken.

We have a right to address that.

SCHULTZ: Last month, Christie talked with Oprah Winfrey and said that
he doesn`t like being overweight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: I don`t like being overweight. I know I`d be healthier and
better off if I weren`t.

OPRAH WINFREY, O NETWORK: Feel better, move better.

CHRISTIE: All of it. All of it. I would love to show these people
who say that because I`m overweight that means I`m not disciplined.

WINFREY: Yeah.

CHRISTIE: They think you can get to where I am by being
undisciplined? Let me show them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The key is it takes a lot of discipline to do what you did,
to go through that lifestyle change. But the way he`s dealing with it is
self-deprecation, to pull out the donut, make fun of himself. Is that just
a remedy for a bad situation?

SHARPTON: I think it could be a remedy or it could be denial. I
think at some point, though, you`ve got to have a real conversation with
yourself and say not only what am I projecting to the public, but what am I
doing to myself? And how am I disciplined enough to become a governor but
not disciplined enough to deal with my own health issues?

And that`s what I did. I mean, if I could go around talking about
community control and didn`t have self-control, I`m a walking
contradiction. And that`s what I said to myself, I`ve got to grab a hold
of this. You know, the ironic thing, and I said it earlier, is that when I
was obese, over 300 pounds, everybody would -- you know, hey, how are you
doing, Reverend Al? When I lost weight, people started saying to me, are
you all right? They should have been asking me if I was all right when I
was 300 pounds.

SCHULTZ: Well, Christie says he`s got plenty of energy and it doesn`t
bother him. You believe that?

SHARPTON: I had plenty of energy, too. And it was energy that would
easily have caused a problem for me health-wise.

I think that I don`t care how much energy you have. If you`re
carrying around an extra 100 pounds or more, you are playing with your
health. And that should be taken seriously.

SCHULTZ: Reverend Al Sharpton, thanks for joining us tonight on "THE
ED SHOW."

SHARPTON: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

And that is "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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