Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You Don't Know What You've Got 'Til It's Gone

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for November 18th, 2009

1) Dan Abrams and Mort Zuckerman had a wonderful, insightful, and passionate debate about the KSM trial on Morning Joe today. It begs the question: would it have been better or worse if Joe Scarborough hadn't disappeared from the set? Further, is it a fair prediction to think that Dan Abrams best moments in that debate came late, and late would not had happened if JS had done the "shouting down" thing?

Not that I'm the official position of the center left, but this debate left a chief center-left precept on the debate, world optics, out as well.

Look what got accomplished. I really hope that is a teaching moment for the Morning Joe debate and that it grows in looking for veritable conclusion late in an argument. Abbreviation is an attempt at ownership of an issue, not rectitude.

2) Nancy Snyderman had her own version of that same debate scenario when Joe Scarborough was there, and argued with her while concluding the same thing. He was trying to force her into a corner with a rationing claim, and was completely disarmed when she agreed with him. Only politicians are afraid of label words, doctors and scientists are immune to that compartmentalizing process and look where it took the debate.

Joe really wants to paint the Mammography debate with politics, and visually you can see he is struggling with how. You are struggling because it’s a real life circumstance and your heart isn’t letting you. You’re being careful not to be misguided early and have to explain bad initial reaction later.

One thing that is understated after two days of Mammography debate is the emotional and literal scar of the false positive. You can carry on about 1 in 1900 all you want, but you had better add in the number of false positives in that 1900 before you take a step further. Many people feel like even stepping into a hospital is the beginning of the end, and that false positive and over testing in general are very negative, avoidable phenomenon. You have an obligation to be sensitive to that segment of health care consumers when framing this debate.

3) Another thing missed on this show was the re-emergance of the reconciliation option for passage of the senate health care bill. Chuck Todd got the timeline reconfirmation today not from one of the senators I obliged yesterday, but from the president himself. Every day from now until signing (or not), Joe Scarborough will imply March for a final health care vote or failure of the bill, and the White House or the Senate will make a correcting statement. They won’t let it go, they can’t.

It’s interesting that with all the firepower in the discussion today, that reconciliation got picked up elsewhere. It would be a prudent question to set to the Politico staff. Along with Bill Nelson trying to remove anti-trust provisions, along with the emergence of the single largest lobbying expenditure of our lifetimes. The democrats are preparing for scorched earth in December. The timing of a jobs summit and a “we have to move on” rationale are there, and if reconciliation gets that done and prevents the last 5 votes from Nelson-ing or Stupak-ing or Bribe-ing the outcome, the center left is ready, because none of those concepts rest in the center.

4) When you get Ed Rendell on your show, you have to ask him why he can’t bring the Unions onto his side of the health care debate. He is Mr. Union. You could’ve asked him about reconciliation too, if it had been on the table.

5) If you bonus 30 billion dollars but give 500 million dollars to a small business support program that looks like charity, aren’t you just saying the same pre-Bastille math another way: we in the financial sector are worth 60 times the value of the little people? Goldman to the masses: "here’s some cake".

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow

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