People, Politics & Business

Scoundrels, Educrats, Rogues and Champions

A Must-See "Morning Joe" Debate:

CJW, July 29, 2010 7:42 AM


All Roads Lead To Education: 
Afghanistan, National Security And, Yes, Even Obesity

By CJ Westerberg

What a powerful segment on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" with Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist, with the big issues of the day all circling back to what is happening to our nation's classrooms and cafeterias.  Guests included Chris Hayes, Washington Editor of "The Nation"; Tom Colicchio, head judge of Bravo's "Top Chef"; Mike Barnicle and Pat Buchanan.

If time crunched, skip the first 2 minutes of banter.  The tie-in to education begins halfway through but the conversation beginning at the 2 min. mark provides the context bringing the message full circle.  More stunning excerpts:

"Mika, if you look a the fact that the United States Congress just spent $60 billion more dollars on warfare, and this Fall children are going back to school with classrooms that maybe have 35 to 45 students in them instead of 25 because teachers are being fired across America right now, and this Congress can't find $10 billion to keep those teachers in the classroom despite the fact Arnie Duncan has figured out a way to pay for it?

We are spending $60 billion on another decade of warfare in Afghanistan and yet we are eating our seed corn at home, and we are not educating our students saying, "we can't afford it."  I find that preposterous! "  - Joe Scarborough

This from Tom Colicchio:

"And this Fall . . .teachers will be going back to classrooms full of kids - and if you don't think this impacts our national security, you are not thinking deep enough - but full of kids who are obese."

And his shocking revelation:

"When I was up on the Hill testifying, there was a retired general testifying that 40% of recruits coming into the armed services fell out because of obesity.  40%!"

Other comments:

"And obesity is actually a sentiment of poverty and poor diet, not overeating . . ."

"Right now School Child authorization is up for a revote and the House is looking for $8 Billion, the Senate is looking for $4 Billion.  The President asked for $10 billion.  This is not for one year, it is for ten years.  You can find $60  billion for war, but you cannot find $10 billion to feed kids,  These are funding summer feeding programs, breakfast programs . . ."  (Colicchio)

"What are they feeding them?"  --  (Buchanan)

 ". . . overprocessed foods that fills them up that is not nutritious.  It is fat, sugar, and that's leading to obesity . . ."

 ". . .because that's what is cheapest, those are the calories we subsidize . . ."

" . . . and you develop a taste for it."

" . . . we are subsidizing on the back end and have obesity on the front end.

When Buchanan questioned how we survived without food programs, Chris Hayes jumped in with quick response which was a very interesting slice of history:

"The school lunch program started because troops were starting up malnourished going to fight WWII.  That's how the food program started. (Hayes)

Full segment below:

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1 Comment

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I really find Joe Scarborough disingenuous along with other conservative punditry. The endorsed ever adventure the Bush Administration wanted to enter into; no criticism or objection. They complain about deficit spending by this administration. They complain if they don't handle the military as being soft on terrorist. I am sick of journalism that makes them damned if they do, damned if they don't. They refuse to acknowledge the extreme mess that was inherited. I agree that education funding does not match the expectations that are asked of the educational system. If education was funded in the way that the military was, then we wouldn't have a
problem. But that would require these same pundits to show respect for the profession of teaching. When was the last time any of these news programs highlighted educational successes.

Complaining and blaming sells in our society. It's time for us to change that message, and our journalist need to be a part of that.

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