Entries from Nov 2014
Mike on Morning Joe today with musician George Clinton

On Morning Joe today, musician George Clinton talks about his iconic music, his struggle with drugs and addiction and his new memoir, “Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?” George explains the cyclical nature of his dependency issues in response to a question from Mike: “I’m a smart man in the first place so I think I can beat it…I thought I could. So, that was the problem. You can’t beat it because the idea is to be messed up….” Watch the full interview here.

Mike with New York Times journalist and author Andrew Ross Sorkin

Mike with New York Times journalist and author Andrew Ross Sorkin on Black Friday versus Cyber Monday. Mike asks Andrew, “People who go to stores for big ticket items…things that they like to see, touch before they buy it…does online shopping impact that at all?”

Mike comments on the NFL

Mike comments on the NFL in review of the many instances of abuse, behavioral and violence issues that have come to light, especially in recent months. “It appears the National Football League…are quite cognizant…they have some real problems. They know they have personnel issues. It’s a very violent game (and) they have some disreputable characters playing the game. They also know though, that yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, millions of Americans were…watching these games.”

Mike and Joe Scarborough discuss the struggles the US has faced amid the widespr...

Today on Morning Joe, Mike and Joe Scarborough discuss the struggles the US has faced amid the widespread loss of faith in many of its government institutions versus the vast improvement the US military has seen. Mike says, “It’s the American military–they are our finest foot forward.”

Mike and Chris Thompson, president/CEO of Brand USA

Mike and Chris Thompson, president/CEO of Brand USA, discuss the positive impacts that increasing tourism in the US may have. Chris says: “When people can actually travel to the United States…their perception of our country changes dramatically. Seventy five percent (of tourists) are more favorable toward the country and 60% of them actually say they are more predisposed towards US policy as a result….” Today on Morning Joe.

Mike Barnicle, Joe Scarborough and Nicole Wallace discuss an op-ed from the Wash...

Mike Barnicle, Joe Scarborough and Nicole Wallace discuss an op-ed from the Washington Post written by Dana Milbank, “Obama Morphs Into Bush,” which parallels the recent firing of Obama’s Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to that of Donald Rumsfeld by George W. Bush. Both resignations came after significant midterm losses, both in the 6th years of Obama and Bush’s respective presidencies. Hear what Mike has to say here:

“It’s certainly mystifying…6 or 7 hours, inviting a crowd to g...

“It’s certainly mystifying…6 or 7 hours, inviting a crowd to gather, grow and assemble…” Says Mike of the decision to wait until 9pm local time to announce the already concluded verdict for Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Mike on the verdict to not indict Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael...

Willie Geist and Mike Barnicle with Former Special Assistant to President Obama Joshua Dubois and MSNBC political analyst Eugene Robinson on the verdict to not indict Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Mike asks Eugene, “You have children…talk about the inherent difficulty that white people in this country will just never get…about black parents raising children and having to tell them at a certain age to be aware of traffic stops….”

Mike and Joe Scarborough discuss race issues

Today on Morning Joe, Mike and Joe Scarborough discuss race issues in regard to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, awaiting the Grand Jury’s decision on whether or not to criminally charge the white police officer, Darren Wilson, who fatally shot Brown in August. Mike says, “We could sit here and talk forever about this and we’re not going to get close to the feeling of estrangement that many in the black community feel…when that cop car comes rolling down the street.” A decision is expected today.

Mike on President Barack Obama’s executive action order on immigration

Mike says about President Barack Obama’s notably debated executive action order on immigration: “His signing the executive action order…is the perfect framework for a deal of some sort to happen. The question is: Will Barack Obama…cut a deal that’s good for him that Republicans will accept? This order…is a very narrowly drawn executive order.” Today on Morning Joe.

Mike and the Morning Joe team discuss sexual assaults on college campuses

Mike and the Morning Joe team discuss the alarming number of sexual assaults happening on college campuses across the US. Mike asks investigative journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely, author of the Rolling Stone article A Rape on Campus, “Why not just stick with what happens in real life, not on a campus — if you are raped you go to the police and the police pursue it, and charge or not charge the rapist?” Watch the full report here:

For The Daily Beast: Freedom From Fear f...

Meet the children at a small Catholic school in Massachusetts who will directly benefit from President Obama’s executive order.

So here they were, some of the people Barack Obama was telling the country about Thursday night, seated, smiling, clearly happy, and outfitted splendidly in the first-grade classroom at Lawrence Catholic Academy, a new school located in an old building put up in 1905. The kids, about 20 of them, paid rapt attention to their teacher, Jeanne Zahn, widow of a firefighter, as she asked them what their favorite subject was.

“English,” said a little girl.

“Math,” a boy added.

“Religion,” another girl added.

“Gym,” a second boy said to laughter.

With one exception, the children were all Hispanic. The city, Lawrence, Massachusetts, is located about 30 miles north of Boston and is home to 76,000 people. It is 74 percent Hispanic. It is one of the poorest places in the United States with 27 percent of its residents living below the poverty line. The average per capita income here is $16,557.

In the early morning before school begins, many children arrive holding the hand of a parent who is in America without documents. The parents are wild with pride because their kids attend a fine parochial school in an old, battered New England city where the public school system is in virtual collapse. The parents are also acutely aware that due to the fact they have no papers they are prime targets for the mentally ill wing of a Republican Party that is so obsessed with Barack Obama’s every action that it has seemingly forgotten or willfully ignored the foundation of the nation they claim to represent.

And Lawrence, even now, is a symbol of that story, one of history’s greatest tales: a magnet across time for people who came here from Ireland, Poland, Greece, Italy, and Russia to work in the near-empty mills that sit along the Merrimack River like hollow, brick catacombs.

“They came then for the same reasons people come here today,” Father Paul O’Brien, pastor of neighboring St Patrick’s Parish, was saying in the first floor hallway of the school. “They come, some of them, out of desperation. They come seeking a better life, a job, a hope for the future.

“Look,” he added, “Christ went into refugee status after he was born. And this whole debate about who is here and who belongs and who has to be deported has become so disconnected by TV news shows and our polarized politics that it has very little connection to our history or our day-to-day lives. So the idea that people in public life are not saying, ‘How can I help you?’ and are instead saying, ‘Get out of the country,’ is beyond me.”

“How many have parents who are undocumented?” the priest was asked.

“We don’t ask?” he said. “They’re here. They’re working. The politicians might say they have to go back but they won’t. I’d like to know when was the last time some of these politicians ever sat with or got to know an illegal immigrant or their families. If they ever have.”

The school, Lawrence Catholic Academy, has 500 students. It covers kindergarten through 8th grade and has $3,825 annual tuition, but fundraising allows many to get $1,500 in tuition aid. Only 25 percent pay full tuition.

“And we have a lot of parents who pay weekly with cash or money order because they don’t have a bank account due to the fact they are fearful they will be identified as being here illegally,” the principal, Jorge Hernandez, pointed out.

Hernandez is 37 years old. He went to Catholic schools as a child because his parents sought both education and accountability for him. He won a scholarship to Villanova and ended up here in Lawrence.

“It reminds me of where I grew up,” he pointed out.

“Everything about it reminds me of it. I see myself in each and every one of these kids here at school. I’m here to pay it forward.”

His parents left Guadalajara, Mexico, with no papers just before he was born in Los Angeles. His father, who had only a second-grade education, worked in an El Segundo sheet-metal factory, rising to foreman, all the time working and living in the same shadow of fear and uncertainty that hovers over those here without documentation now.

“His life, my mother’s life all changed with Reagan’s amnesty,” the principal pointed out. “Then, the threat of being deported was finally lifted.”

The old-fashioned yet eternal concept of Catholic social justice is thick in the hallways and classrooms of Lawrence Catholic Academy. And it is stronger and deeper than the momentary flood of hypocrisy and polarization that has left so many disgusted and disappointed in the arm-waving, vote-seeking, hysteria-driving members of Congress. The ones who suck up a public paycheck while trying to divide the country with language and behavior that offers visible daily proof that much of our politics has now gone right off the rails.

Obama’s action Thursday night will allow a few million residents of the United States to stop worrying about a traffic stop for a broken automobile tail light. That leaves perhaps as many as 7 million more here illegally, frightened that they could be discovered and shipped out at any moment.

Of course, the illogic surrounding the staggering task and cost of gathering millions and transporting them by plane, train, and automobile back to the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and several other countries is never discussed. This is because the only location that debate could take place would be in an asylum.

Now, some of the kindergarten children were standing straight as soldiers in a line at the door of their first-floor classroom. They were bundled in heavy coats worn over their school uniforms as they got ready to go outdoors led by their teacher, Sister Ellen, a member of the Sisters of Charity.

“I’ve been teaching kindergarten here in this building for 44 years,” she proudly declared. “And before that I taught kindergarten in another school for 21 years.”

“What? How many years?” she was asked.

“Sixty-five years altogether,” she pointed out with a laugh. “I must be crazy, right?”

“How old are you?”

“Eighty-four, and by the way aren’t these kids great,” she wanted to know, helping a little girl with the zipper of her jacket.

“What about people who want them deported?” she was asked.

“They’re not going anywhere,” Sister Ellen declared, smiling. “They’re going out to recess.”


Mike Barnicle, Tom Brokaw and Nancy Palmer remember Nancy’s husband, TV le...

Today on Morning Joe: Mike Barnicle, Tom Brokaw and Nancy Palmer remember Nancy’s husband, TV legend John Palmer and discuss his memoir, “Newscatcher,” which debuted recently. Mike says, “There was an element to John, I don’t know whether it’s generational or whether it’s from his roots…he was a nice man, a generous man, willing to spend time with younger reporters — imparting his wisdom to them. Do you sense that that is missing at all today in our business?”

Mike’s response to Mika about Jonathan Gruber

On Morning Joe today: Mika says of controversial MIT economist and an Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, “Who here on this table doesn’t think he’a a jerk? He’s a total jerk! He’s completely a hypocrite…” Hear Mike’s response to Mika here:

Mike asks Sen. John Hoeven about debate over the Keystone Pipeline XL project

Mike asks Sen. John Hoeven about the contentious debate over the Keystone Pipeline XL project and the upcoming Senate vote to approve it: “Do you have any environmental concern about the passage of this bill?”

Mike comments on MLB player Giancarlo Stanton

Mike comments on MLB player Giancarlo Stanton’s recent contract with the Miami Marlins, the largest contract in US sports history: “It is a clown deal for that franchise,” he says on Morning Joe.

Mike and the Morning Joe team discuss the “architect of Obamacare”

Mike and the Morning Joe team discuss regrettable comments made by MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, who has been described as the “architect of Obamacare.” Gruber attributes the passing of the legislation to the “lack of transparency” in the law and the “stupidity of the American voter”. Mike likens Gruber to David Stockman of the Reagan administration, who said, “None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers,” in reference to the federal budget.

Mike says: “There is a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be...

Gov. Howard Dean said on Morning Joe that the new plan to drug test welfare recipients is a “war on poor people.” Mike in response says: “There is a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be poor in this country. Nobody elects to be poor…why don’t we drug test the members of each and every legislature?”

Mike asks retired Lt. General Daniel Bolger

Mike asks retired Lt. General and author of Why We Lost, Daniel Bolger, “Do you think that the mission we gave the young men and women who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan was clearly defined by the command? Did we fail…the young men and women that serve this country?” Hear their conversation:

Carine McCandless joined the Morning Joe team this morning

Carine McCandless, author of The Wild Truth and sister of the late Chris McCandless whose story inspired Jon Krakauer’s novel, Into the Wild joined the Morning Joe team this morning. Carine’s more recent take on her brother’s story in The Wild Truth delves deeper into the truths behind what happened to her brother and why…truths she said she was not ready to share until now. Mike asks Carine of Chris, “What was the driving factor in forcing him into the wilderness?” Hear her answer here: