Thursday, March 11, 2010

Grasping At Straws

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for March 11th, 2010


1) The ad goes ‘I can tell when they’re lying’, but decorum prevailed when Senator Kirsten Gillibrand came on the show and said she hadn’t switched on gay marriage or gun control. She has obviously switched on both positions and used political doublespeak like ‘a widening of focus’ to cover both sides of an issue like gun control.

So there was your moment, and you had the trademark Joe Scarborough look on your face as you weighed your options, then nothing. I doubt that Chris Matthews or Jon Stewart would’ve let that pass. Who wins? Does decorum win, or make the viewer lose? Time will tell as I’m sure that your editors are furiously at work looking for then and now video so that you can blanket a future show with your take.

But politics is not gotcha on video, it’s the visceral in person resistance to getting bulldozed on an issue on live television. And the results are in.

2) I’m also not so sure that a paltry $13,250 is the equivalent of the Nixon tapes on this issue of State Senator Perkins obstructing charter schools on behalf of unions. I 100% agree with your take that obstruction is occurring and he is the likely source. But that amount of money is just not a palpable case for a smoking gun.

Also, this story and your rants about charter schools should have been better connected to the Kansas City school district story. Andrew Ross Sorkin makes a valid point that this sort of cost and budget catastrophe is the pain we are all enduring, seemingly invisibly, at the state level. You talk about attrition from district making draconian cuts, Ross talks about pervasive cuts everywhere, and then you talk separately about how there is massive demand for charter schools.

I honestly feel like you should be able to connect these issues better. Why not debate whether a giant cut like that facing Kansas City might actually be an opening for a charter system to fill those closed schools on a high demand basis? Why not debate that those opposing charter conversions face Kansas City’s reality by the virtue of their opposition?

My problem with Ross’ take and the Union and Senator Perkins and budgets in general, is there is no foresight that would create revenue streams, just bad management and then cuts at the end to balance bad budgets. By the time it’s cuts it’s too late. Somewhere along the way was an unduly prioritized dirty contract payment or privatization scheme that got paid, then the least protected people, teachers and children, are the cuts to equate.

I’m with you on charter schools, just don’t forget to turn over all the rocks.

3) This looking for meaning in when Nancy Pelosi knew about Rep. Massa is Joe Scarborough grasping at straws. It does the Republicans no good at all to go with “see, the Dems did it too” because it only highlights how bad it was in 2006, instead of making the Democrats stew in their own juices. Bad strategy, and then, you risk finding out that this case was very different, and the why is that Foley was preying on pages. Do you really want to relive that horror of horrors?

Chuck Todd basically told you that your strong misinterpretation of this timeline was going nowhere, you should probably listen to him.

All this while there was a mega scandal right in front of you. Why, when Obama starts taking earmarks out of the health care bill are you not asking if the administration will do a phase two of this process and remove sweetheart deals for pharma and insurers?

Ed Shultz asked openly last week if the fix was in, if the reason some of the anti insurance, anti pharma stuff like state lines and Canadian drug importation stayed out of this bill was by virtue of a back room administration deal. You have a giant opening on shows like today, and it befuddles the viewer to see that opportunity missed.

You could possibly find redemption in the fact that a stand alone repeal of health insurance anti trust exemption is out there. Don’t you think after all of the megaphone work on that issue that Morning Joe has done, that this bill deserves some coverage?

I do.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.


  1. Being a know-it-all leaves little time for research due to excessive time in bloviation.

  2. Hey I am trying to find the Part about Sen. Perkins, do you know what part of the show its in? I want to see what theyve said explicitly. This charter school issue is about money, period. At least how it has manifested itself in NYC, they only exist in black and latino neighborhoods, and tons of money is being made by a handful of folks who are neither, black or latino, nor educators. They are making a business out of children in my neighborhood, and for the most part they are doctoring numbers to protect their business, they are not educating children.

  3. i dont know the exact time just that they made slides of union donations to perkins, only some of the donations were from the nineties.

    if i was to guess it would be in the second hour directly at the top of the hour when they were talking about the two education news items.