MSNBC's Joe Scarborough left no doubts on where he stands on the conflict in Afghanistan Monday – but he also pressed liberal Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to stand up to President Obama on the issue of troop withdrawal. "It's distressing to me to see how this war continues," Scarborough complained, noting that the deadline for troop withdrawal has been pushed back to 2014 and possibly even further.
He then asked Sen. Durbin point-blank, "When are you and other progressives in the Senate going to start pushing back on the administration, on the generals, and say 'Enough is enough. We can't waste $2 billion a week on a war without end'?"
Scarborough further clarified his opposition to continuing the war long-term, and wondered if President Obama wants to stay in Afghanistan merely to appease Republicans on national defense. "It seems like the President is just buying time because he doesn't want the Republicans to call him weak on defense," he speculated.
"Why is the press accepting [Obama Afghanistan policy] at face value?" Good question, and one posed by Richard Haass this morning. The president of the Council on Foreign Relations and Joe Scarborough ripped a "compliant press" on Morning Joe today for failing to ask the tough questions about Pres. Obama's prosecution of the war in Afghanistan.
Scarborough suggested a theory as to why the press is punting: "it goes against a decade-long narrative that George Bush chose the wrong war and that Afghanistan was the right war." True, no doubt. But perhaps the more fundamental explanation of the MSM's current acquiescence is that George Bush was president then, and Barack Obama is president now.
Update: Joe denies judging Kyl and DeMint. See video after the jump.
Call it an episode of Short Self-Attention Span Theater . . .
Mere moments after citing Matthew 7's instruction to "judge not, that ye be not judged," Joe Scarborough judged Jon Kyl and Jim DeMint to be "un-Christlike."
Scarborough's strange self-contradiction came in the course of his diatribe against the two Republican senators for having criticized Harry Reid for threatening to keep the Senate in session through Christmas.
MSNBC's "Morning Joe" hosted a pity party for President Obama on Wednesday. Discussing public opinion of President Obama amidst his trials as President, liberal Watergate journalistic "legend" Carl Bernstein won the pity prize, asserted that Obama inherited a bigger mess than any other president since the 1930s. "Very few presidents have come into office inheriting what President Obama has taken on," Bernstein opined on Wednesday's "Morning Joe."
"You'd have to go back, I think, to the thirties to really have a comparable situation," Bernstein continued.
Bernstein also blamed staunch GOP opposition and a broken political system for Obama's travails. "He's been trying to deal with it with a Republican opposition that has said 'no' to everything, and a political system – we keep going back to it – that simply is not functional or concerned with the national good."
The segment began with MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd and "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough agreeing that the current White House suffers more bad news than normal. "This White House always seems to have incoming," Scarborough noted. "Just constant, and it's been constant from the day they walked in the front door."
Comparing the current tax cut compromise with Barack Obama's stimulus plan of 2009, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough labeled the tax cuts a "steaming pile of garbage" on his December 13 show. Complaining that the compromise will add another $900 billion to the deficit, Scarborough compared it to the stimulus plan that cost a similar amount in the name of "stimulating" the economy.
"This is a disaster for conservatives," Scarborough asserted, arguing that adding to the deficit is worse than stimulating the economy with tax cuts that aren't "paid for."
The weekend after the deficit commission proposed a way to cut $4 trillion in the next generation, Republican leaders met with President Obama and produced a compromise extending the Bush tax cuts for all income earners, along with other provisions that would ultimately add $1 trillion to the deficit.
"It's another steaming pile of garbage," co-host Mika Brzezinski spat. Scarborough agreed with her. "Man, I tell you, if I were a Democrat in the House, I'd vote against this in a second," he remarked.
That was the image in Joe Scarborough's mind this morning. The Morning Joe host repeatedly made the point that whereas Dems continue to control the White House and massive congressional majorities, they now are looking at the Bush tax cuts, which for years they vilified, as their last best hope.
When it comes to Republican and Dem support for the tax cut deal, Joe—concerned about the $1 trillion being added to the deficit—has been in pox-on-both-their-houses mode. He seems to side with opponents of the bill including Jim DeMint, Rand Paul. . . and even Bernie Sanders. But Scarborough took particular delight today in skewering the Dems. As he put it, they are still in charge, and thus "own" the bill. Summed up Scarborough: "George Bush has won."
Liberal columnist Mike Barnicle confessed Friday that the media "deified" Barack Obama during his 2008 Presidential campaign. Both Barnicle and former MSNBC host Donny Deutsch, on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," admitted that Obama had no executive experience when he took office as president and that hurt him in his first two years in the Oval Office.
"This guy took office, he had never really run anything in his life, and it's very easy to be an ideologue," Deutsch said of Obama. "And he learned," he added. Barnicle noted that Obama "has never been executive, he's never run anything, he's never managed anything."
"Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough questioned why Obama took so long to focus on a job-centered agenda rather than liberal policies such as health care and cap-and-trade. Barnicle confessed that Obama "was glorified and deified during his campaign, largely by the media. We have to admit that, I mean, we have to plead guilty to that."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough slammed President Obama Tuesday for not standing up to Republicans but rather compromising over extending the Bush tax cuts. Scarborough called the tax cuts for millionaires "inefficient" and agreed with co-host Mika Brzezinski that the Republicans are "complete hypocrites" when it comes to dealing with the deficit.
The deal includes an extension of the Bush tax cuts for all income brackets, including millionaires. In return, the Democrats get the extension of unemployment benefits that they were pushing for.
"Ideologically, I've always voted for tax cuts," Scarborough claimed, recalling his tenure as a Republican congressman from Florida.
"But when we are this deep in debt, and we have this many people unemployed, and we need to get working class people back to work, I can't imagine a more inefficient way to spark a recovery than giving tax cuts to people like myself who will put it in the bank and feel better about myself because I'm saving some money."
In a Politico column written just before the deal was struck between the president and Republicans, Scarborough implored Obama to survey the situation and realize that he could still fight the GOP. Obama's concession, he argued, would be harmful to America.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, who recently implored viewers to "Keep Calm and Carry On" by seeking civil political debate over nasty partisanship, rebuked those who laughed at him last year for his 2010 predictions.
"For all of you that made fun of me when I started saying a year-and-a-half ago that this was going to be 1994 – kiss my ass," the co-host blurted to viewers Monday on "Morning Joe."
This week's news quiz is a toughie. If you blame Sarah Palin for the GOP's failure to take the Senate, have 'always loved NPR,' oppose Arizona's immigration law as "unacceptable and un-American' and called Republican candidate Sharron Angle a 'mental patient,' then you must be:
A) Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, B) Lefty loon and entrepreneur Arianna Huffington, C) An MSNBC host or D) An elitist who 'will help headline the launch next month of a new national group dedicated to restoring civility in politics.'
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and his Morning Joe co-hosts on Friday commiserated over the "sad," "terrible" ordeal that Charlie Rangel suffered through while being censured. Echoing many liberals in the media, Scarborough commented, "People want to forgive Charlie. They do." He fretted, "And, Norah, a sad day yesterday on the hill."
Journalist Norah O'Donnell recounted the censure for failing to pay taxes as a "very moving moment" and complemented Rangel's "very emotional statement." on the floor of the House. At one point, co-host Mika Brzezinski offered a one word description for the Democrat's punishment: "Terrible."
Later in the morning, while talking to Republican Dave Camp, Scarborough chided those who might not feel sorrow over Rangel's predicament: "I was trying to explain to everybody, and a lot of partisans may not understand this, this was a genuinely sad moment, not only for Democrats yesterday, but so many Republicans." (He didn't specify these unnamed Republicans.)
The unemployment rate rose in November, from 9.6 percent up to 9.8 percent after only 39,000 jobs were added to the workforce. On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Mark Haines of CNBC called the data "disappointing."
Haines went on to say, "An optimist or a sunny 'glass is half full' kind of person would say the unemployment rate may have ticked up because more people are now looking for work. That's the way that unemployment rate works … but I will grant you that that is a reach."
On Thursday's "Morning Joe," "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl deplored the GOP stiff-arm to Democratic lame-duck legislation, complaining that it wiped out the conciliatory tone of the Republicans' meeting with President Obama. She referred to the GOP strategy as "the maneuvering that I think is such a turnoff."
"If you're up here after the White House meeting saying 'Yes, they can be civil to each other,' and it's just a tone. We know it's a tone. And then it's dashed," she mourned. "After the meeting with the President, everybody – I think, I think – in the country said this is great, this is what we want, we want that tone," she gushed of the GOP leadership's meeting with Obama.
Stahl then lamented the GOP's ensuing opposition to Democratic legislation until extending the Bush tax cuts is made a top priority.
MSNBC's "Morning Joe" panel hit the Republican congressional leadership Wednesday for not admitting its faults in dealing with the President the past two years. After playing a video clip of leading House Republicans Eric Cantor and John Boehner praising President Obama for his admission of not having reached out enough to the GOP, "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough challenged the GOP to do the same.
"And now the polite thing to do...is to say 'And you know what? We could have reached out more, too'," ex-Republican congressman Scarborough said of the congressional GOP. "That would have cost them nothing," he preached.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski complained that the GOP focused on the negative, and scolded them for speaking out like they did. "I just heard them emphasizing anything that the President might have given a little to put out an olive branch," she griped, "and then they focus on the negative."
Suggesting that Nicolle Wallace engaged in feline fisticuffs might be called sexist. But when Wallace actually accused Sarah Palin of seeking to "claw" critics, illustrating her assertion with a cat-like hand gesture, well . . .
It's no secret that Wallace is no fan of Sarah Palin. But the former Bush communications director and McCain campaign aide perhaps took things to another level with her attack on Palin on today's Morning Joe. Wallace was on to comment on Joe Scarborough's astonishing claim of yesterday, noted here, that "all" conservatives and talk radio hosts with whom he's spoken are harshly critical of Palin off the record, but are afraid to express their views publicly.
Wallace opined that if it ever looked as if Palin were close to copping the Republican presidential nomination, many GOP leaders who have to date been too timid to criticize her would step forward to expose Palin's putative shortcomings. In the course of propounding her theory, Wallace unleashed a hail of criticism of her own:
"Mistakes were made [by McCain in choosing Palin]."
"Her troubling deficiencies."
"Her incredible cynicism, her bitterness, her aggressive attempts to claw [makes clawing hand-gesture] anyone" who criticizes her.
In his newest Politico column, Joe Scarborough rips Sarah Palin whose "anti-intellectualism" threatens the GOP's success in 2012. With a scathing indictment of Palin's presidential aspirations, Scarborough asks Republicans secretly critical of Palin to stand up and voice their opposition to her presidential run.
Scarborough questions former Alaska governor's basic intelligence for even considering running for the presidency, although he admits later in the article that Palin "is not a stupid woman" but "does not know what she does not know."
"What man or mouse with a fully functioning human brain and a resume as thin as Palin's would flirt with a presidential run?" Scarborough asks, discreetly mocking former Delaware Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell (R) for her belief that American scientists have infused human brain cells into mice.
Today's Politico piece takes Scarborough’s swipes a quantum leap further [see examples after jump]. But what makes this morning’s diatribe truly remarkable is Joe's repeated claim that "all" Republican leaders and conservative talk radio hosts with whom he's spoken have—off the record—agreed with his criticism of Palin.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough blasted protesters and opponents of the new TSA screening procedures on Wednesday's "Morning Joe," only to recant his position on the show's next hour when he realized two panel members criticized the new checks. "I was saying this was a made-up debate – this is a real debate, I guess," Scarborough admitted on the second hour of his show.
While Scarborough and co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist, as well as MSNBC political analyst Harold Ford, sympathized with TSA workers and defended the new checks, two guests opposed the new search methods. Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan and New York Magazine columnist John Heilemann criticized the TSA procedures.
Early in the first hour of the show, Scarborough ranted against the "opt-out" protestors who would be forgoing the body scanners at airports Wednesday to be subjected to pat-down checks, deliberately frustrating and slowing down the process on one of the busiest travel days of the year. Scarborough has recently promoted civil discourse on his show with the mantra "Keep Calm and Carry On," but let loose at the protesters Wednesday.
Columnist Mike Barnicle had some pointed words on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday for travelers exasperated with the new TSA airport scanning procedures: "Take the train or take the bus."
"Here's a tip for travelers this Thanksgiving," the "Morning Joe" regular remarked Tuesday. "If you're upset about this at airports, take the train or take the bus." He added later in the show "Hop in your car and drive to Detroit," as another alternative for air travel.
Barnicle, continuing his rant from Monday, lamented that Americans are so upset with the controversial security procedures when the U.S. is involved in two wars and real unemployment stands at 15 percent. "This again, if we ever needed it, is proof-positive that we live in a time where we have such a limited attention-span as a nation, it is sickening," he preached. "We're now more afraid at airports, apparently, of being felt-up rather than blown-up in the air."
Columnists Michael Crowley and Mike Barnicle seemed to agree on one thing on Monday's "Morning Joe" – the new TSA airport screening methods are not that big of a deal, in the scheme of things.
Early on Monday's "Morning Joe," Crowley, Deputy Washington Bureau chief for Time magazine, expressed muted criticism of the American public's reaction to the new screenings. "I think that people are getting very upset about something that's not that big a deal," he said of the new procedures which feature the choice of undergoing either a revealing body scan or a thorough pat-down.
"We talk about sacrifice in a time of war, it's not happening. There's this minor inconvenience that people are having to go through," the columnist continued.
Mark Halperin earlier flatly disagreed with Barnicle and Crowley. "It's not a minor inconvenience," he said of the new airport checks. "Wait 'till you've been subjected to it," he told Crowley. Barnicle said he had experienced the screening and admitted its controversy, but said it did not merit the backlash that has ensued.
"Are you telling them to 'keep calm and carry on' in the White House?" MSNBC's Joe Scarborough supportively asked the Vice President of the United States on Friday morning. "Morning Joe" hosted Joe Biden, but skipped the more embarrassing subjects: the recent trial fiasco of terrorist Ahmed Ghailani and the ethics charges against Rep. Charlie Rangel.
The topics of conversation ranged from the START Treaty to the "stimulus" bill to Sarah Palin – the MSNBC crew all laughed at her claim that she could beat Barack Obama in the 2012 Presidential race – but Scarborough changed subjects toward the end and asked Biden about the demonizing of presidents once they enter office.
"As you know...at least since Clinton was elected, the second a President gets elected, the other side tries to de-legitimize that president from day one," Scarborough claimed. "You've seen that from the outside since early '93. Have you been shocked since you got on the inside at just how tough it is?" he asked Biden.
Joe Scarborough apparently likes Nancy Pelosi's toughness, given her response to his MSNBC colleague pressing her as to why she would make a good House Minority Leader after losing 60 seats. MSNBC's Luke Russert asked the Speaker why she should lead the House Democrats if her approval rating among independents is at 8 percent.
Pelosi delivered a testy response, and Scarborough admitted his glee over the tone. "I think she's a disaster for the Democrats politically right now...but I like that fight," he remarked. "C'mon, boom!" he expressed as he threw imaginary punches, pretending to be Pelosi punching down Russert. "Hey Luke, come here, Luke, look, boom! Luke, look, look, boom!"
Later on Thursday's "Morning Joe," Scarborough was pressed by Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin as to why he was praising such a polarizing figure when he has promoted a platform of bipartisanship and moderate politics. The "Morning Joe" co-host has conducted multiple campaigns on his own show for calmer rhetoric in the country's political sphere and has denounced political extremism.
The co-hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" pleaded with the Secretary of Transportation Tuesday for federally mandated devices in cars that would scramble cell phone reception, as well as for raising the driving age nationwide to 18.
Calling himself a "small-government conservative," Scarborough said that he nevertheless supports a device in cars that would scramble cell phone reception while the car is in operation. Co-host Mika Brzezinski added that such a device was the only way to stop distracted-driving accidents.
"I can hear the battle coming, because we've got Chris Licht who's our E.P....when Mika was talking about disabling devices, said 'Yeah, well great, that's all we need, the federal government telling us when we can use our phones in cars'," Scarborough quipped, calling out his executive producer live on the set.
"Well I-I do actually want the federal government...I don't want my kids run over by a distracted driver. It seems to me that if the technology is there, we should – stop the texting, scramble it," Scarborough asserted.
In a piece for the Huffington Post Tuesday morning, Howard Fineman explored the possibility of an independent presidential ticket in 2012, with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg running for President and MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough as his running-mate. Scarborough shot down the rumors quickly on his MSNBC morning show with one word – "no."
Identifying himself with comedian Jon Stewart and his message against extremist debate , MSNBC's Joe Scarborough praised his own morning show for being a safe haven for different viewpoints and calm debate. This, of course, happened shortly after he interrupted a Politico reporter twice and questioned his story's significance.
Comedy Central's Jon Stewart had appeared on Thursday's "Rachel Maddow" and criticized extremist debate and the sensationalism of the 24/7 news cycle. Scarborough wholeheartedly agreed with him.
"This is not a battle between red state America and blue state America, left and right," he expressed. "It's really not. It's between the extremists, and I'm talking in terms of the media now. It's between the extremists and the regular people, and in some areas in the media, the extremists dominate."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough blames Sarah Palin for the GOP's failure to capture the Senate because of her efforts in drafting candidates who were defeated in Delaware and Nevada.
"But for Sarah Palin, the Republican Party would control the Senate right now," the former Florida congressman stated on ABC's "The View" Thursday.
"She's not a national ticket," he added when the conversation turned to her possible 2012 Presidential run. "Who thinks seriously that she can get 51 percent?"
Scarborough was frank with his words on the hit daytime show, discussing Sarah Palin, colleague Keith Olbermann's suspension, and why he thinks his "Morning Joe" program is a success. He praised his own show for its "transparency," that the audience knows the political views of each of the hosts.
Anyone critical of President Obama being in India right now is an "idiot," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough bluntly served on his morning show, which prides itself on being a safe haven for different views. India is "exactly where [President Obama] should be" right now, he opined.
With Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass on as a guest Monday morning, Scarborough clamored that President Obama "needs" to be in India right now for the sake of U.S. foreign policy. "I would send my President to India, like once a month, if I could, for long weekends," he emphasized.
Scarborough hit left-wing bloggers earlier on the show for helping push President Obama's agenda too far to the left. Now he took the chance to slam the far right for what he considers unfair criticism of the President. "I was just going to say, any right-wing bloggers out there that are critical of the President being in India – anybody – is an idiot," he stated.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell admitted on national television Friday that he's a socialist.
In the middle of a heated debate with Salon's Glenn Greenwald on "Morning Joe," O'Donnell said, "I am a socialist. I live to the extreme left, the extreme left of you mere liberals" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the unemployment numbers for October showing “fantastic” gains of 151,000 jobs, according to MSNBC, and an unchanged 9.6 unemployment rate.
CNN’s Christine Romans called it a “good report,” during “American Morning” and noted that it was the “first time in a very, very long time” enough jobs had been added in one month to keep up with new entrants to the workforce. Estimates of the number of jobs needed per month vary between 100,000 and 200,000.