Timely Advice From Morning Joe

Yesterday, I found myself completely overwhelmed by the amount of news … tariffs, Trump’s trip to the UK, anti-trust investigations, impeachment, gun control, anti-abortion laws, etc., etc., etc.  Where to start?  My mind spun, then bounced as I read article after article, most somehow involving Donald Trump.  I think we are all beginning to feel as if we are on a carousel that is spinning faster and faster while we try to hold on for dear life.

This morning I happened upon an OpEd by former member of Congress, now host of Morning Joe on MSNBC with Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough that I think makes a lot of sense.  Mr. Scarborough offers us some timely advice about keeping our eye on the ball, so I decided to share it with you.

Disregard Trump’s ground noise. Focus on the signal.

By Joe Scarborough, June 3 at 4:08 PM

Joe-ScarboroughMy first year in Congress was spent absorbing attacks from a local newspaper unimpressed by the fact I was the first Republican elected in my area of Florida since Reconstruction. They appreciated my lectures on small government conservatism no more than does the current collection of Big Government Republicans in Washington.

During my freshman year on the Hill, I tried to respond to every charge from every article, political cartoon or editorial page. After one particularly stem-winding speech that I delivered at the downtown Rotary Club in Pensacola, Fla., three-star admiral Jack Fetterman took me aside and gently offered advice that I carry with me a quarter-century later. He put his arm around me and said, “Joe, you have to learn to separate the ground noise from the signal. And here’s the secret, son: It’s almost always ground noise.”

I thought of the admiral’s words this weekend as I glanced at the news feed coming in over my phone.

Video from the Sun, a British tabloid, showed that President Trump called a princess “nasty”; then he denied calling her that; then Trump had his team release a tape that showed he called her that; then Fox News hosts attacked those quoting the Trump manuscript that showed he called her “nasty.”

Trump then dismissed reports of him calling her “nasty,” waving off the Sun’s transcripts as “fake news.”

I also learned from my news feed that Trump staffers told the Navy to keep the USS John S. McCain out of Trump’s line of sight; Trump then denied that request was ever made; Reporters proved that request was, in fact, made. Trump staffers admitted to the request.

Trump then dismissed the reports as “fake news.”

It is easy to be blinkered by the ground noise generated by from the president’s Twitter feed, or from his ministers of propaganda, or from his quivering quislings on Capitol Hill. It is difficult to brush aside the steady stream of lies and half-truths that insult our intelligence. But the good admiral would tell you that you have no other choice unless you want to fly your fighter jet straight into the side of a mountain.

Ignore the ground noise and search for the signal, instead. That may seem difficult but, after three years of Trumpian madness, it is imperative.

The signal is the Mueller report. Read it. The evidence inside is both impeachable and indictable. It also documents that the Russians tried to undermine U.S. democracy and that the president and his team, rather than reporting the interference, welcomed our enemy’s help.

William P. Barr is ground noise. The attorney general has been caught lying to the American people with his letter, lying to Congress with his testimony and lying to the media in his interviews. Maureen Dowd of the New York Times accurately labeled Barr as Trump’s minister of disinformation. She is right. His words are now as meaningless as Kellyanne Conway’s or Roger Stone’s.

The signal is the United States’ $22 trillion debt; record deficits; a fading bond market; trade wars with Mexico and China; a $16 billion welfare scheme for farmers; tariff taxes; a bloated defense budget that funds military-industrial complex programs that the Pentagon does not even want; a Middle Eastern war taxpayers are underwriting for the benefit of a bloodthirsty Saudi prince; and rising tensions in the Persian Gulf also aimed at mollifying that same leader, who had a Post contributing columnist tortured and killed.

Focus also on the pattern of behavior. After the economic crisis, Donald Trump endorsed the Wall Street bailout and praised the feds for giving billions of dollars to bankers whose greed had crushed middle-class workers. A decade later, the populist plutocrat championed tax cuts for multinational corporations and millionaire members inside his clubs. As Trump told a group of wealthy Mar-a-Lago Club members the day he signed the tax bill into law, “You all just got a lot richer.” In this one respect, Trump was right. His Palm Beach buddies did make millions from “tax reform,” but as with the tariffs he keeps touting, it is working-class Americans who will ultimately pay the tab.

Ignore the noise and focus on the signal coming from North Korea, where the building of a nuclear program continues unimpeded. The president’s bewildering response to this growing threat has been to adopt the party line of North Korea’s Communist Party and profess his love for the dictator who tortured and caused the death of a U.S. college student for trying to bring a poster home. A strong warning signal also gets sent every time Trump chooses to accept the word of a former KGB agent over the professional conclusions of the FBI, CIA, the director of national intelligence and Homeland Security leaders that the president, himself, appointed.

That signal may lead us back to the Mueller report as well as Trump’s personal pursuit of riches. And focusing on that signal may lead us to better understanding why the president has been so willing to sell out American democracy to Russian dictators and Saudi Arabian sheikhs.

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38 thoughts on “Timely Advice From Morning Joe

  1. Here’s an old adage from one of our own controversial politicians Enoch Powell, long passed on
    “All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs”
    Now there’s something for you folk to look forward to with Trump ’cause when it happens it will be humiliating

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hello Jill. We must be careful not to take too much advice from people who do not have the interest we share at heart. I firmly believe we shouldn’t take democratic strategy advice from republicans. That is not to say that Morning Joe’s words do not have merit, but he will turn on us as soon as there is a republican running he can “like”. Remember he was an ardent tRump supporter until their public falling out including getting caught on a mic asking tRump what “they” could do to help him. Why he is still on MSNBC I can not understand.

    Every Sunday news show now has Republican die hards like Chris Christie and other republican strategists giving the Democrats advice on what they need to do to “win” the election. Mostly they want us to tamp things down, go to the right or center, give up the policies that draw the most attention. That kind of nonsense. Their advice amounts to “be more republican so the people will choice the real hard right Republican”. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

      • Hello Inspired. Thank you. It is getting harder to cut through the bull we hear every day, but we have to remember the Republicans play hard and for keeps. They have no morals, no empathy, no deity except power. Then they turn that power on everyone else. They desperately want a single party rule like China. They want a dictatorship for the things it offers them. Only them. I am worried the Democrats are misplaying this and we will again lose this for not having a spine. Right or wrong the Republicans charge hard for what they want no matter what or who gets hurt, but not the Democrats. This time we have to do so also. Our entire democracy is at stake. Hugs

        Liked by 3 people

    • Eh, I don’t share your belief that he will ‘turn on us’, for he is as fed up with Trump & Co as any of us, and he has, from what I’ve heard, left the Republican Party. Don’t let partisanship close your mind to the possibilities that there are some republicans who don’t think as Trump, McConnell and the like do. You know I have no use for the republican ‘party line’, and that they have yet to put forth a policy I could agree with. Still, I don’t recommend ‘throwing out the baby with the bathwater’, as the old saying goes. I try to give people who seem to genuinely have their hearts in the right place a chance anyway. It’s hard these days, but we cannot lower ourselves to their standards. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hello Jill, I understand what you are saying. However I am looking forward to the second tier candidates he supports, the congress people, the state level people. I remember when he was a congressman and he was hard right. Yes he hates tRump, but will he talk up non-tRump Republicans? Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

        • I can’t say for sure, as I don’t know that much about him. From what I read of his views, it seems that he is a straight-up guy, and common sense tells us that what he said in this OpEd is right. We all just need, really, to think for ourselves, but sometimes somebody offers an opinion or view that gives us pause to think differently about things. But, I try to listen, then decide for myself what makes sense and what doesn’t. These days, nothing is normal and it’s hard to know which is the best path to take. Sigh. Hugs!

          Liked by 2 people

  3. I learned many years ago as a teacher to attack the issue, not the person to best settle down an escalating situation. Being played as the fool by Trump is a waste of of time. Bring on impeachment!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Before Donald was president most people rarely listened to him but now he has center stage and a audience and it is all about him and nothing else, him and Nero has a lot in common… 🙂 he makes a good king but not a very good president ….

    He needs to follow the advice of Mark Twain; “Sometimes it’s better to keep one’s mouth shut and appear stupid, rather than open it and remove all doubt” Mark Twain

    Liked by 4 people

  5. That’s very good advice from the Admiral, focus on the signal… this case being the Mueller Report, I believe there are enough smoking guns to impeach/ convict many times over.
    But how do you reason with fanatical right-wing Republicans, both senators and citizens, who refuse to recognize the truth? They’ll regurgitate the party line… it’s all a political witchhunt, Trump is our savior from the deep state, need Trump b/c he’s great for the economy and create millions of jobs. As you can see it’s a no-win situation, his supporters are blind to the truth and will fight impeachment. Let’s pray it won’t be another 4 more yrs of chaos. *Sigh*

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Not to say I already said that, but like watching any good magician, you have to watch the hand you cannot see, not the one you can. Trump, like him or not, is well experienced in leading the crowd astray, making little things seem big, while doing big things that don’t even appear on anyone’s horizon until it is too late. He fills the media with fake news, hoping no one is looking at the news he doesn’t want anyone to see. The media, of course, eats up the obvious. When are they going to understand just how devious this man is.
    He has been practising since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. He is now the grasshopper, and when you get too many grasshoppers, they turn into locusts, and eat everything in their path.
    Now, if you (2nd person general) followed those analogies, maybe you are worthy of seeing past the tricks, and looking at reality. I certainly hope you are.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I did think of both you and Keith when I first read the article because yes, you both have said the same many times. And, I do know it’s true … the detritus that is tossed out as a distraction is a trap that I fall into quite frequently. I almost did again this morning when I read that some lunatic in London slashed the baby Trump blimp and called Trump “the greatest president ever”. My fingers were pounding the keyboard with snarky comebacks when … I remembered this article and the advice it contained. And no doubt I will take the bait again, but for today I stopped myself.

      Liked by 2 people

          • My dear friend, Jill,
            Gail just told me, on the news this morning, she learned el dumbpo is allowing hunters and fishers into wildlife protection areas to play caveman with modern weapons. Is this true? What the hell is going on? Please tell me this is “fake” news!

            Liked by 3 people

              • .Thank you. I need to know. If he let’s people hunt protected wildlife, he is giving wildlife to hunt protected presidents. Tit for Tat.
                I used to have a t-shirt where a guy was arming the deer, moose, and bears so they could fight back at even odds. I would love to be that guy.

                Liked by 2 people

                • The short answer is that yes, there is a proposal currently being considered by the Department of the Interior as we speak. Since there isn’t a public forum, and no opposition within the administration, it will likely be passed. Rather than write all the details, check out my post that is on the schedule for 3:00 a.m. EDT. I am beyond furious. Maybe we should find those t-shirts and send them to Mr. Bernhardt, Trump’s sons and others. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

                  Liked by 2 people

    • There are, indeed, a few such, though they are few and far between. No, Joe Scarborough is no fan of Trump … he never was, but Trump broke that camels back when he insulted Joe’s then-fiance, now wife, Mika Brzezinski in a very crude and vulgar manner.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Jill, this is well said. We focus on too many small things the president does poorly. We are indeed missing the signals. The Mueller report paints a damning portrait and would be even worse had select people had not deleted texts or been interviewed. We must remember campaigner Trump flat out lied about his financial ties to Russia, so says Mueller. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • Quite so, but it is an easy trap to fall into, getting caught up in the minutiae, the day-to-day circus acts. As you well know, I’ve done it many a time, and cannot swear I won’t do it again. I’m ready for this to be over, to go to sleep at night trusting that somebody sane is at the helm.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You often see Football Managers who say odd things or act bizarrely to distract from the teams real issues. They intentionally become the focus, the issue, the noise. Some big issues out there and yet we often focus on President Trump. That suits the powers that run the world just fine.

    Liked by 3 people

    • True. I suppose it is something we even do with our children … ie, “Look, honey, at the pretty balloon” as the doctor gives him his measles injection. And I, too, am guilty of falling into the trap of focusing on the day-to-day smokescreens while ignoring the underlying issues. Sigh.

      Liked by 3 people

    • We do need to, but it is sometimes just too tempting to dive into the mud, isn’t it? I seriously doubt any of those three are doing anything worth knowing, but … one never knows. Kushner is a bloomin’ idiot who cannot even answer a simple question. Ivanka is a fool. Pence is a religious freak. I suppose, however, they make useful tools for the trumpeter. Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. For a guy I do not always/usually see eye to eye with politically, I must say, I certainly think Morning Joe is a stand up, honest guy. If only more Republicans were like him. (Actually, Joe no longer considers himself a Republican, but you get my drift.)

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah … there are a few republicans who have shown themselves to be people of conscience, like Joe, and George Will, as well as several other journalists who couldn’t throw their lot in with Trump and still sleep at night.

      Liked by 2 people

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