Sunday, April 10, 2011

Poor Poor Mike Thomas: the latest media mop-man for Koch

The Orlando Sentinel is to be much pitied for the difficult position it occupies these days as one of the last remaining newspapers in the state with any balls whatsoever.

Columnist Scott Maxwell was good enough to find out a few things about the governor: That he was behind a push to get golf resorts placed in our state parks, and that he also had Harry and Hermione in a cave beneath the capitol building.

I made that last part up. Sometimes, especially these days, we need reminders on what is true and what is horror fiction. The lines having become so blurred by the surreality of it all.

In any event, OS of course gets slammed by the regular crowd of chandelier-danglers employed by Rick Scott and the Koch stasi. You've seen their posts, as they toss bottles and fling poo at the news organization for summoning the temerity.

The end-run of course, is to be expected. Mike Thomas was their water boy this morning, and we'll get to him.

Last week the Koch stasi were more than happy to use Miami Herald's columnist Jackie Bueno Sosa for their propaganda. She's a Cuban American who wrote that the Bright Futures Scholarship program has become sort of an entitlement.

(Pssst!She means a program for undeserving losers who are spawn of lozers, whiners and so on when they say that phrase, "entitlement program,") And so, says she, it needs to be "tweaked" by which she means, "phased out slowly."

And you have to admire the way she managed to race-card her argument, to get all of us at each other. What better way to destroy a program than begin the racial litmus test, and then refine that bad boy over and over until they're holding up skin-tone swatch cards to each candidate, until someone rules the whole thing discriminatory.

What does her being a Cuban American have to do with it? Well, my dear, she was born in Veradero, Cuba. She is the recipient of an entitlement program called "political refugee" status by virtue of her birth. The bitter irony of course, is lost on those who demagogue.

Right? Because all the sudden "bright futures" was the problem. Yeah! That must be it! It was soooo right in front of our face, the whole time! Leave off that the program is funded by the damned Florida Lottery and changing it will not impact the deficit one bit. And they'll be after the lottery next. You'll soon hear them decry the "inefficiency of it." By now you know the drill.

Never mind. Armed with a chicken head, and an agenda, likely prodded by uber righters in the South Florida political sphere, Marco Rubio included, she did her bit for Koch.

Enter poor, poor, haggard Mike Thomas. (Jayzus, Mike. Get a better pic going there, will ya? Do you want people to view you as the Danny Treanor of newsprint?)

In his column Mike strains to seem the voice of reason in the mix, more than what he obviously has become; the coat-hanging conduit of the Koch message. That being: that Florida schools are bad, and that reform has a long way to go, and that it might not be a bad deal to privatize everything since recess was invented 120 years ago.

Or something of this nature.

Recess is horror fiction. He actually meant summer vacation. It was invented so that kids could help the harvest. So it must die, we suppose. Or is he saying that "summer vacation," like legislation preventing oral sex, is a throwback to an age of ignorance and so, for this reason, we must scorch earth the entire system, as Rick Scott would have it.

Mike ignores the fact that destroying the level playing field,free of economic predestination, you know, the one Florida has created and is now raising our university system and a k-12 system to national prominence? is what the Koch/plutocrat agenda is all about. "Kill that baby, fast! Before the slaves free themselves!"

Mike plays the good "deutsche volk" pre-1936 in ignoring facts, trends, and obvious fanged hatred for an entire class of people; that being, everyone earning less than $1 million a year.

He ignores the fact that "give parents more options" and the voucher system is a goddamn shell game designed to lift public education out of the hands of those who "don't deserve it" They being the unwashed masses of Americans who work for a living rather than exploit for a living. And there is a difference, no matter what today's version of the republican party tries to tell you.

Poor, poor Mike. Whatever are we to do with him?

And the very end of the article, Mike adds a simpering caveat and nod to those masses of course; lest he be accused of not covering all bases. Quoting him here.

No, I do not trust their parents to choose wisely. We just saw a prime example at the troubled Imani Elementary Charter Academy in Pine Hills. Kids are being drawn from higher-performing public schools into lower-performing alternatives.

Florida has become a national leader in school reform, with many states copying what we've done. Let's not blow it now.

This is not a new tactic of course. It is rife in the corporate media: say a thing ever so softly and limply so than no one really hears you. Strain to pretend you are maintaining "balance" in your coverage.

Even opinion is monitored for "balance" these days. Do you love it?

The fact is, those who have taken over our governor's mansion, and our legislature, are not kind hearted people who are on a mission to "save the children". They are mean spirited enemies of public education.

How else to explain the move to eliminate the pre-paid college plan by Sen. Evyln Lynn R-Ormond Beach? By the way, Lynn, who oddly opined the program was insolvent since the stock market is going haywire, (it isn't and it doesn't: just plain wrong and likely disingenuous garbage she just flat made up) is also the chair of the higher education funding subcommittee.

And how do you explain a Senate Bill (SB 7234) to eliminate school board pay, put forward by Sen. Stephen Wise R-Jacksonville, who also chairs the senate education subcommittee?

They appoint themselves to committees, chair those committees and then begin dismantling those things the committee funds or oversees. That's an agenda at work, right in front of our eyes, Mike. The list of such coordinated blasphemies to education runs a mile long in this senate.

Mike Thomas's column, sadly, as he has become a shade of his former self, is only the latest in the trend that contorts, strains and stretches to call dead-from-the-neck-up journalism "balance in coverage" and objectivity.

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