it is almost as if Mitt Romney is trying to make this week worse. He's messing with Big Bird again.
He poked the famed Sesame Street bird late last year under the guise of attacking public broadcasting, saying, "We're not going to kill Big Bird. But Big Bird is going to have advertisements. Alright?" Not discouraged in the least by the fact he's trying to change a program virtually no one dislikes, Romney went back to that trough this week in a Radio Iowa interview:
There are programs that I like, like PBS—I mean, my grandkids watch PBS, they like to watch Sesame Street. You know, I just don't think we can afford to borrow money from China to pay for things we absolutely don't have to do. So in the case of PBS, I'd tell them to get advertisers or more contributors, but the government is not going to pick up the bill by borrowing money.
Sesame Street, as folks may recall, isn't exactly set in the suburbs. Colorful Muppets aside, it looks fairly rough. Melissa will explain that metaphor in full leading off today's show as she launches a discussion about the plight of the middle class, and whether or not tax policies being offered by both candidates fully serve the folks who have borne the brunt of this economic downturn.
Other topics Melissa will cover include the epidemic of military suicide and sexual assault, mental health awareness, child poverty in America, and the stark statistics of black unemployment. She'll also talk about juvenile incarceration as it particularly affects communities of color, and interview a mother, Mary Johnson, who lost her son to a violent act. Melissa will also talk to Oshea Israel, the man who committed that murder as a juvenile, who is now out of prison after 17 years and lives next door to Johnson.
Our guests also include:
- Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund.
- Lawrence Otis Graham, attorney and author of "Our Kind of People: Inside the Black Upper Class."
- Bob Herbert, former New York Times columnist and Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos.
- Shelby Knox, feminist organizer and director of Organizing Women's Rights for Change.org.
- Glenn Martin, Vice President of Public Affairs at The Fortune Society.
- Rev. Vivian Nixon, executive director of the College and Community Fellowship, and co-founder of the Education Inside Out Coalition.
- Rep. Jackie Speier, Democrat from California.
We hope that you interact with us during the show here in the comments of this post, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #nerdland -- and encourage others to do the same. We look forward to having you join us at 10am ET on msnbc!