Monday, June 28, 2010

Economic War

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for June 28th, 2010


1) There was a fight about the way forward in Afghanistan early on the Morning Joe show today, but ‘round about the second hour of the program all sides agreed they were supporting agents disingenuous, and stopped fighting, instead opting to complain to invisible powers over the pointlessness of the continuing conflict.

While it’s no great mystery what’s happening in Afghanistan, somehow a long esteemed list of cast members and guest journalists could not pinpoint it. Rather than remedy, the Morning Joe cast seemed content to have an ever-evolving but undeniably circular argument for 180 minutes.

You are at war because it is part of the economic stimulus policy for the United States. The fact that everywhere there are austerity arguments, and Krugman articles refuting them, has less to do with the United States, because there is no austerity in war. It is a license to print deficit budgets and pump that money into the economy of this country like a ventilator prolongs the life of a 65 year old emphysema-suffering lifelong smoker.

We did this in Vietnam, we did this in Iraq, and we are doing this in Afghanistan. Do you realize how mad Raytheon or Bell became in 1991 when the hostilities stopped after just weeks of conflict? That in some circles Gulf War I was seen as a missed opportunity to bail the US out of it’s early 90’s financial malaise?

So as a nation watches, no less than 8 well-educated individuals went on national television and as a consensus agreed the “pro war” vote in congress was the prevalent force without inserting a lucid ‘why’ component that involved the economy.

All this while using the word disingenuous.

2) For a while now, and I got this from my parents, my service has been to do peoples taxes for them. The parents went into the inner city and filled out tax forms for people who would’ve otherwise just not filed and become criminals for not applying for money owed them.

I love this message and I love it more than the service program solicited today on the Morning Joe show and the invocation of civic responsibility attempted by its organizers.

Look, I have a trust issue with the folks that are telling me “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.

That line was really, really powerful in the early 60’s when we mixed free enterprise with a national citizenship idealism that had not yet learned distrust from assassination or issues like #1 above.

But now, that question seems like someone else’s interpretation of events. My idea of service is now helping Mexican citizens avoid oppression in Southern California when they should be treated as guest workers. My idea of service is telling people how to avoid the bill that comes from the company that represents the ambulance that says “your city’s fire and rescue” on the side of it when you call 911 for a child’s medical emergency. My idea of service is teaching teachers to revolt against local corruption rampant as the current state of affairs in education.

I have an moderately long resume of traditional service work dating back to junior high school. The trading of traditional service for the areas of immediate need above represent a sea change from the world we inhabited back when Kennedy challenged a nation, to where we are today. This is not some uber-cynical temporary malfeasance. There are real social costs to the way the overriding momentum in this country has created artificial wars, polluted the landscape, privatized health and education, and used fear to find a proxy voter segment to hide their distribution in wealth equation from plain sight.

Until someone convinces me that I won’t have to spend my time defending families and people from what Elizabeth Warren describes as the ‘fine print predators’ in this country, the United Way will have to wait, or help.

3) I’m ready to say that the Morning Joe show is abandoning it’s mission to the Gulf to represent those citizens annihilated by the oil spill.

It’s as if a focus group found out this story is a loser, and the show’s creative team has sized up a clever array of work-arounds. “How can we seem concerned but not have our show seem so messy?”

The ‘solutions’ feature and it’s central failure: that the solutions go to BP not the EPA, was covered and uncovered, respectively, with the deft touch of a local news staff not wanting to get ‘icky’.

The Brian Williams segment was cut off so fast it was if there was a risk of infection.

The only thing that isn’t unduly harsh that I can add to this complaint, is that these are optic effects: ‘icky, infection, messy’ and that I largely surmise this is unintentional.

I have said all last week and now that these are signs of immaturity in this show and its unorthodox format. Immaturity can mean the cast has no idea that their coverage of the BP oil spill looks this bad, defines their intent this poorly or redefines Scarborough’s representation of that part of the US from vital to superficial. To a person in need of a more perpetual evolution in understanding one of the worlds greatest ecological, economic and human disasters, I think a lot more is warranted.

That’s all today, see you tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Well done. I just wish Scarborough would shut up & let people talk, although he was dead on about Afghanistan. However, the Military needs to level with the POTUS, not leave the POTUS to have to personally take all the responsibility for ceasing operations.

    As far as having the Mika and Joe weekly "volunteer service" guilt trip be part of the show, enough already.

    And Halperin/Heileman-your 15 min are up.