Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Total Whitewash

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for June 30th, 2010


1) It’s as though Joe Scarborough thought he was bringing in the big guns when he put Harvard professor Jeffrey Miron on the show to strengthen his anti-Keynsian take on things. That was quackery at a level of bringing a chiropractor to heart surgery.

No I’m not on board with the Joe Conason venom directed at Prof. Miron. Mr. Conason would’ve been better served with temperance, even in the face of some goofy science, but goodness, you’re making a case for the other side.

What is even creepier is the blank stares Conason got when 1873 was brought up. No, I’m not talking down to people with that, equipped with some encyclopedic reference to past financial panics. But the thing that caught me off guard was that the Krugman article that might’ve set this debate off referenced the 1873 panic as part of it’s central thesis.

Mr. Scarborough, do you care to comment about an apparent hole in your homework? Your show is predicated on ‘must read op-eds’ and intertwined with takes from the great columnists working today. It would be a setback if it was that much of a façade that you didn’t actually read and understand the most important column of this week prior to embarking on this crusade for Herbert Hoover austerity.

2) Where you are off the reservation on austerity, you’re in the wheelhouse on Afghanistan. I listened closely, and even the best and the brightest are cautioning that they don’t want to seem too ‘Oliver Stone’, but still no one will talk about the financial windfall concept of why these wars are fought to seeming perpetuity.

Additionally, you seem to have ignored the story of the money transfer from Afghanistan to Dubai of $3 billion US dollars in recent weeks. That story would shore up the anger your trying to get Main Street to channel, so there doesn’t appear to be any logic to your deselection.

Additionally, that line to Joe Conason: “I know who I’m talking to, and they would never talk to you”, attempting to trump Mr. Conason’s intelligence on Afghanistan issues, is so misplaced you might as well be stabbing yourself in the face. Conason just spent 2 weeks in South Africa with Bill Clinton, so you’re dead wrong plus, what happens is that it looks like you’re trying to end a debate before having a debate, which is avoidance, which means you think you’re vulnerable. We learned this when Karl Rove shouted down a reporter with “but you're entitled to your math, I'm entitled to THE math”, just in time to get whipped soundly in 2006. Just don’t do it, it’s a pathway to losing.

But after three disparaging paragraphs, the point of this is you found a very important vein with the lack of an investment in the war by Main Street. Mike Barnicle found it weeks ago, but his persistent, Columbo-esque re-insertion of that as a main culprit for the apathy towards the war has proven to be a sound strategy as Morning Joe has found a consensus point, and I like the goal.

If a draft threat, I don’t support a real draft, brings this home to America, let’s get it out there. If an important domestic investment can be shown to be lost as a direct result of financial constraints of war, put a billboard next to it saying so. If a member of congress takes money from Halliburton, then praises the war effort disingenuously, publish the conflict of interest far and wide.

Let’s get out of Afghanistan, leaving behind the Biden predator plan, and basically make a single policy: we apologize to human shields in advance, but where we see pockets of terrorist activity that we feel threatens our original mission, we will annihilate them.

We should treat Afghanistan and Waziristan equally, and clearly instruct anybody in harms way that they risk death by being near our enemies in the region.

That’s not to say we couldn’t keep a green zone situation at Bagram, or a strike force for special operations like the capture of Bin Laden as needed, but nothing on the ground in Afghanistan warrants further investment under the confines of the original mission of 2001.

3) In a previous rant, I mentioned community service should involve teaching teachers how to work around localized corruption. Geoff Canada took this point to a universal level today by stating that the log jam of compromised influence upon the educational system is now 40 years in duration. The system atrophy that continues to cascade as a result of it will leave the US school system in rubble within our lifetime, per his diagnosis, and either we choose to break the false ceiling placed upon education workers every day with managed curriculum and ranking money higher than results, or we face that future.

The Morning Joe is so far out in front on this issue, that expectations have begun to ramp up towards real progress in the forms of charter school proliferation and Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s agenda widely adopted.

There are an army of status quo barons ready for this fight, and one very large political conflict on the horizon. The unions, book publishers, outsource vendors and religious ideologues are all ready to make this ‘Obamacare II’. Conservatives are also going to ask a pretty legitimate question: if Joe Scarborough is a fiscal conservative wanting smaller government, then isn’t this issue counter to that? Shouldn’t a fiscal conservative be calling for the dissolution of the Department of Education, and leave the school system to the states?

I’m not a fiscal conservative, so it’s an easy choice for me. When a state’s education system can go from near the top to near the bottom or at the bottom in 10 years as Nevada has done, it clearly shows a need for a national expectation of standard.

But overall, this continues to rank at the very top of the shows accomplishments. I would like to see the show get out in front on the coming conflicts, and the consistency shown throughout the show’s existence makes it seem like that is going to happen.

4) See this empty observation? It’s still more than Morning Joe’s coverage of the oil spill today or recently.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Didn't see too much of the show, esp Conason (whose anger management training needs a refresher course), but a least you know when he thinks someone's FOS, and unlike JS he can't repeat himself for three hours at various dB levels.
    Barnicle has been dead-on (literally in fact) for many months re sending OP kids to war.
    As far as Halperin is concerned-USELESS.
    Thanks again