The Morning Joe Rebuttal for December 29th, 2009
1) Kudos to the show for bringing in Digger Phelps to update on it's charity efforts. Not because the floor in the gym is getting done, but because Digger has re-aimed the effort from the school to the real task of getting the full service hospital the city of New Orleans so desperately needs.
The show is on to something with its charity choice, but you can’t just neglect the singular item that brought you to this task in the first place. As you have pathed towards New Orleans, you have kept this flagship task at arm’s length. You are going to be in a bad spot if you haven’t agendized the hospital by the next time Digger Phelps comes on the show, or you’ll have to schedule it during your next vacation, but that might be too obvious an avoidance.
2) It is an amazing coalescence around the center where Eugene Robinson and Pat Buchanan are finding common ground. This mini-drama surrounding the near miss bombing attack has given us a Petri dish view of what larger hysteria would look like. The right is using current events to gain ground on having more options and less responsibility toward our anti torture mantra when an enemy combatant is found. The center left is letting them.
The left is using this as an opportunity to get an ‘I told you so’ moment to say that the conventional war in Afghanistan is provably misguided. The right is letting them make that point. The common ground is amazing but how much of it will be retrenched away from this point in the near to medium term as the hysteria subsides. It’s a bizarre scientific experiment showing the effects of powerlessness and fear upon your moral compass.
3) The center left is a willing participant in the ‘black hole’ policy. If you are trying to do us harm, you have a Jack Ryan decision coming to you that you will either tell us 100% of the information you possess and we need to ensure the nations safety in a way that we are 100% convinced, or you will be taken into a black hole, which starts with a rendition, continues through an advanced interrogation, and dumps you out in Guantanamo or Illinois, where you will reside until we feel like all of the information concerning you has surfaced, and then your life sentence will be confirmed by a military tribunal.
Remember, you were given a choice at the entry to the black hole, and you chose your fate. I couldn’t care less about the international debate on torture as long as it’s not a secret what’s being done. When it is a secret, you are feeding the tortuous regimes in Iran and elsewhere with an ideological crutch, which is where we are now. But if we just had the courage to come out and say that pertinent only to violent terrorism bent on mass casualties, we are going to overtly suspend our ideals that we serve to uphold regarding human rights of a few savage individuals, but do it publicly, I believe the international community would understand, and we could add a tool to the fight.
4) This show established a communion with the nation’s feeling that the TSA are morons acting like an early 1980’s Japanese toy robot trying to pass off learning to take 3 steps as artificial intelligence. It actually points to the dysfunction of Congress where the post-9/11 civil defense funds were mis-spent trying to prevent a terrorist attack on Spokane, Washington by speed boat when we could’ve installed full body monitoring devices in every airport in the US and every incoming gateway airport in the World. Those machines are expensive, but at least you own an armored anti invasion boat in Spokane instead.
The privacy concerns that lawmakers cited in slowing the establishment of the full body scans are the exact lack of imagination that infuriates Americans who have been humiliated in their own airports by their own government for 8 years, have been an additional kick in the teeth to airlines who have never made money since the attacks, given our enemies new opportunities to attack us, and set us back financially on the war on terror a full decade. Way to go Congress. If you’re counting at home that’s a 70% idiot quotient for a Rebublican legislature, a 30% idiot quotient for a Democratic legislature, and another in the perpetually growing number of fronts that our government is demonstrating an abject failure to govern with any efficiency at all. After all that Digger Phelps answered your privacy concern in one statement: “You could just ask the flier, they would opt-in 95% of the time”.
That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.