People, Politics & Business

Scoundrels, Educrats, Rogues and Champions

A Must-See "Morning Joe" Debate:

CJ Westerberg, 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:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

  • rober porter

    lost the war in vietnam , wasted lives nothing gained , supposedly fought to wipe out communism, now were in bed with chinese communist. went to war with irag for no reason except to steal taxpayer money, we build roads hospitals schools power houses there, while we let ours go to hell . while billions of dollars dissapear into rich peoples pockets billions of dollars not accounted for. we went to war with afganistan to wipe out terroisist . spending more money supposedly nation building making more rich people richer. billions wasted every year, not to mention how many of our young soldiers lives are ruined they suffer from dissabilities for the rest of there lives. mostly all middle class and poor kids in national gaurd so there lives mean nothing to the rich in u.s.a. all the while the rich and corrupt leaders cut education in the united states if the population is well educated they would demand fair and just leadership.keep america spupid bail out banks, do nation building in iraq afganistan, ship jobs to china, cut school funding in united states main goal make rich richer

  • Keishla ceaser-jones

    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.

blog comments powered by Disqus
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci
Follow The Daily Riff on Follow TDR on Twitter

find us on facebook


Cool Smart Teen: Changing the conversation about building stuff

SMW, 11.04.2013

Not just building an app to play with . . . but a test for cancer

Read Post | Comments

Riffing good stories innovation.jpg

Video: What is the link between "design-thinking" and creativity?

SMW, 11.03.2013

Creative Confidence: Must-Watch Interview on Charlie Rose

Read Post | Comments
early education.preschool.jpg

How Much Do Early Years Lead to Student Success?

CJ Westerberg, 11.03.2013

"The idea being that wasn't necessarily to create little engineers everywhere, though that would be great for us. The idea was to take advantage of the natural learning process and curiosity that children have at that age . . ." Tamika Lang, Boeing

Read Post | Comments

NEW: Weekend Reading

SMW, 11.03.2013

Looking for Intimacy in the Age of Facebook is a higher education course (yes, you heard right). Interestingly, social media may inhibit creativity and innovation

Read Post | Comments

The New Resume

SMW, 10.31.2013

A picture is worth a thousand words. A video game-like format is worth . . .

Read Post | Comments

Noam Chomsky: The Purpose of Education

CJ Westerberg, 10.31.2013

"Education is really aimed at helping students get to the point where they can learn on their own. . . "

Read Post | Comments

Noam Chomsky: In the news again, this time about Twitter and High Schoolers

SMW, 10.31.2013

Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT, "father of linguistics", political commentator.  From bio: "Besides his work in linguistics, Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today":               ...

Read Post | Comments

Choke: Test-taking - - - a different way to look at test-prep?

CJ Westerberg, 10.28.2013

"Most students will not find a steady diet of test-prep drills and worksheets to be particularly meaningful, and accordingly, they will not put forth optimal learning effort."

Read Post | Comments

Does your school have a beehive?

CJ Westerberg, 10.27.2013

"If we want children to be inventors, we have to give them opportunities to invent." - 5:00 mark, Mission Hill video

Read Post | Comments