Bernie’s Q&A: Richard Branson, Sean Hannity, Joe Biden, and more! (7/23) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


Sir Bernie, As evidenced in this video, some progressive pundits claim that the U.S. embargo on Cuba is what’s causing these protests by the Cuban people. Do you think this is true? What are your thoughts on this? –“End The Embargo” Regards from The Emperor 

What’s causing the protests is that the Cuban people are losing their fear of the dictatorship. It takes a great deal of courage to protest against people with guns. As for the embargo, it hasn’t done much good to get rid of the bad guys, has it?

I don’t know if you have been following much this walk-out of the legislative session by Texas Democrats due to new voting legislation under consideration. What is your opinion of this tactic – brave and gutsy move by the minority party or a spineless dereliction of duty? How do you think this will end – Will Dems stay gone long enough to wait out this session until August 2022? They certainly have the monetary backing to do so with the wealthy-white-privileged-empty-golf-shirt known as Beto O’Rourke providing funding. How will this play regionally and nationally in the 2022 mid-terms? — Steve R.

Taking off for DC doesn’t help the Democrats in Texas — or anyplace else. Sooner or later they’ll be back home and even if the governor has to call a special session of the legislature, the vote on the new voting law will proceed — and will pass. My main thought, Steve is this: If they were Republicans and flew on a private jet … without masks … and several of them came down with COVID … and they could have exposed the VP to the virus … the media would be all over the story and play it just the way you think they’d play it. And when someone calls them on their bias, they dismiss it. And their approval numbers continue to plummet.

I equate Biden winning fair and square with the earth being flat. We have seen these people in action for many years, why would you be surprised by anything they do? Need hard proof? I watched it happen right before my eyes. The FBI? Don’t make me laugh. I have also witnessed their selective adherence to law and order and have come away far less than impressed. Love you Bernie but you are not being fair. — Thomas C.

You can deny the obvious all you want, Thomas. But Trump lost and Biden won, and it wasn’t because the Democrats cheated. If there was proof of that, Trump’s lawyers wouldn’t have lost more than 60 times in various courtrooms in front of judges appointed by both Democrats and Republicans. Were there some shenanigans? Probably. But not enough to throw the election. But if it makes you feel better thinking Trump got robbed, that’s your choice. It’s a free country. But I’m guessing you don’t buy that either.

Bernie, I want to encourage you and others to read Dr. Steven Koonin’s book, “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, And Why It Matters.” Pretty darn interesting, especially when the President, the EU, world leaders, and others are using the phrase “existential threat” with frequency and planning to act on that, and yet the technical reports prepared and reviewed by scientists do not (remotely) make that forecast.

Recently, Angela Merkel said that the heavy rains in her country are due to “climate change,” but Koonin points out several times, with numerous supporting citations, that all recent weather events are within the past historical variations. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”), through it’s most recent Assessment Report (AR5) and the U.S. Government’s National Climate Assessment 2018 indicate, using 20 economic analyses of worst-case scenario RCP8.5 in climate models (40 models) forecast >3% economic impact in 2100 – the US is forecast to grow at 2.00%/yr. and the worst-case climate change scenario would cause that growth, on average, to reduce to 1.96%/yr. Does that seem to be ‘existential’? The EU just heralded a proposal in which import tariffs on goods will be imposed on countries not meeting specific CO2 emission targets set by the EU. The Biden Adm. is preparing multi-trillion-dollar spending programs to address this ‘existential threat’ of -0.04% GDP annually. Is it worse that human’s contribution of CO2 grow from 0.043% (0.00043) to 0.056% of greenhouse gases, or to have multi-trillion-dollar programs implemented based on wild speculation (note: models’ accuracy ratings by IPCC and UD Gov = low confidence, and model uncertainty ranges from 17% to 83%)? Koonin is not some right-wing denier, he was Obama’s chief scientist in the Dept. of Energy after spending 20 years at Cal Tech and a stint at BP. We are betting a lot of money on who knows what! (apologies for the length) — DonEstif

They call it an “existential threat” either because they honestly believe the world will end if we don’t act right now on climate issues … or they use that term because it scares people and they can get tax dollars for the green world they dream about. In some cases, it’s both. But politicians often buy into issues simply because they think it’s a good political move. Too bad we don’t have journalists who’ve done as much research as you, Don.

Under your Monday column, a longtime commenter on your website (others pointed out that he’s been here 10 years) concluded that you — Bernard Goldberg — “seem to assume that the Mainstream Media are entirely objective”.

In reality, you’ve been one of the country’s top alarm-sounders and consummate critics of mainstream media bias for over 20 years (books, television, columns, radio, etc). Does it ever get you down that in today’s crazily tribal political environment, people manage to memory-hole literally everything you’ve ever said about the “other side” the very moment you say something critical about someone on “their side” (which in this case was Fox News)? –Jen R.

Thanks for asking, Jen. It used to bother me more than it does now. I used to have more faith in people who read columns about the media, politics and the culture generally. But over time I’ve come to understand that some people only want their side represented … and if I acknowledge that the other side may have a point, I suddenly become a “typical liberal.” It’s hard to take stuff like that seriously. In the example you mentioned, I never said anything that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that I assumed that the mainstream media are “entirely objective.” So his observation doesn’t really bring me down. It does make me shake my head and then … simply move on.

While Tucker Carlson continues to give anti-vaccine conspiracy theories a platform on his show, I noticed this week that other Fox News commentators including Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy have suddenly gotten VERY pro-vaccine in their rhetoric, actually PLEADING with Fox viewers to get vaccinated. I don’t think either of those guys were ever necessarily “anti-vaccine,” but they’re now taking on a pro-vaccine advocacy role, which was quite a change. GOP leaders including Mitch McConnell and Steve Scalise have started doing it as well (this after Scalise had been holding off on getting the vaccine himself for quite some time). Do you think these people are having a Come to Jesus moment in that they’ve realized that rhetoric on their side of the room has contributed to a lot of Americans not getting vaccinated (and suffering because of it)? — Ben G.

Maybe … but a wise man once said: The answer to all questions is money. So, I’m thinking there’s a ratings angle someplace in here. I hate to be cynical but that’s what cable news people do to me.

What are your thoughts on Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk taking a lot of criticism from the left for spending their and their corporations’ money on space travel as opposed to earthly aid type issues like poverty, cancer research, etc? Personally, I’m all for people spending their money however they want to, as long as it’s not MY money. But the left also seems to forget that these individuals and companies also dedicate a lot of money to the very issues they’re talking about. — Alex D.

I’m with you, Alex. It’s their money so they can do whatever they want with it. And you’re right when you say they also spend money on things the left likes. I’m sure they give a lot of money to worthy charitable causes. The left isn’t happy unless we’re all making decisions based on what they think is right.

Bernie, I’m on vacation at the moment, and am too busy turning heads on beaches to come up with one of my trademark brilliant questions. So, I’m going with this one today: What’s the song that you’re most embarrassed to admit that you really like? — John D.

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by the Shirlelles. I’m well aware that it’s a “chick song” but I love the arrangement and the strings — the work of Carole King and Jerry Goffin. There I said it. And if I get heat for admitting it, I’ll kick your ass to prove I’m not a girly man.

 


Thanks, everyone! You can send me questions for next week using the form below! You can also read previous Q&A sessions by clicking here.




Off the Cuff: Cleansing Children With Identity Politics

In today’s Off the Cuff audio commentary, I look at an idea to end racism by making pretty much everything about race.

You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.

 

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The Growing Friendship Deficit

Note: An earlier version of this column appeared in my ‘Daly Grind’ newsletter.

National Review published an interesting piece a few weeks ago by Daniel Cox, director of the Survey Center on American Life. Its headline read “American Men Suffer a Friendship Recession,” and the topic, in my view, was culturally important.

Cox cited polls and trend-lines showing that the number of close friends Americans have has — in his words — “plummeted” over the last three decades. What he calls the “friendship recession” has been especially bad for men:

“The percentage of men with at least six close friends fell by half since 1990, from 55 percent to 27 percent. The study also found the percentage of men without any close friends jumped from 3 percent to 15 percent, a fivefold increase.”

Single men have fared the worst (20% don’t have any close friends), and even guys with one or two tight buddies don’t feel any less lonely or isolated than those who have none. Beyond the numbers, men are saying that they feel less emotionally attached to the friends they do have.

Some of this seems to be baked into the cake based on gender. Generally speaking, women are more successful at building and investing in close, intimate relationships while men are less comfortable opening up to others and soliciting emotional support. Part of this is due to old-school tenets of masculinity, but even younger men (who are less likely to adopt such tenets) have a hard time developing close friendships.

Other considerations, which apply to both men and women, include a decline in religious involvement and an increase in workplace mobility (people working from home rather than meeting friends through work).

Truth be told, Cox’s piece resonated with me on a personal level. Like many, I had a large group of tight-knit friends in high school, and a similar group in college. After graduating, I got to know lots of coworkers at the company I worked for, but while a few became solid friends (that I still keep in touch with), most were really more of acquaintances that I rarely saw outside of the office. I lived alone (in a basement apartment) for a number of years during that time, and being that most of my good friends (who’d gone their separate ways) lived at least an hour away, my close connections kind of dried up.

It wasn’t a great situation. I’ve always been an independent guy, which I suppose is what helped keep me trucking along, but as actor Alan Alda once said, “Loneliness is everything it’s cracked up to be.” That statement is true even for independent types.

Fortunately, I found my lifelong companion (with the help of some mutual friends), got married, and started a family. For this, I’m thankful every day. But outside friendships (especially close ones) were fewer and harder to come by. After my employer sold off half the company, the remaining half struggled for years to say afloat. We shed a lot of employees over the years, and I was putting in many extra hours to compensate. This left little time for my own family, let alone making friends.

Even after the Great Recession finished the company off, and my wife and I took our careers in different directions, intimate friendships were elusive. The two of us tend to get along with pretty much everyone we meet (unless we’re given a glaring reason not to), but cordiality isn’t the same thing as closeness and having confidants.

Cox’s proposed solution was pretty generic: people need to put in more time and effort to foster such relationships, whether it be at work, with neighbors, or even online.

That’s easy to say, of course, though I mostly agree with his advice. The one caveat I would add has to do with the ‘online’ component. I think the Internet is much better suited for maintaining existing friendships than seeking out new ones. There are definitely exceptions to the rule, and I do consider a few people I’ve never met in person to genuinely be friends, but a lot of purely online relationships (whether they be connected by politics, sports, or some other interest) aren’t intimate ones… and they probably shouldn’t be.

As for close friendships, I’m fortunate these days to have a good number of them — including with guys who I can talk to freely about anything, and would be there for me and my family at a moment’s notice. I figured I’d share a couple specific things that worked for me and my wife…

The first one has to do with something Cox touched on early in his piece: religious involvement.

I’m not going to get into my faith today, but rather faith fellowship.

When our kids were little, my wife and I joined a local church where we became acquainted with a number of families close to our own ages. We’d always had polite conversations with them, recognized some things in common, and enjoyed their company. But with everyone so busy in their lives (including us), the relationships didn’t amount to much more than Sunday pleasantries and parental anecdotes.

My wife came up with an idea to try and change that by forming a “young family” ministry at the church. The two of us pursued it, and created “get to know you” types of events that more often than not took place outside of the church. They included family picnics at parks and swimming pools, and they were genuinely a lot of fun. They resulted in several longtime, sincere, quality friendships that we still have today (though we’re not as involved with the church as we used to be).

From that ministry, I created a spin-off men’s group that started meeting for dinner and sometimes an activity (cards, bowling, a movie, etc.) one Friday night a month. We still do it (10 years and running), though we moved things over to Zoom during the pandemic.

Just between you and me, us guys have never really talked about faith at these get-togethers, and it was never our intent to do so. The purpose has been pure laid-back fellowship. Some of the group’s biggest supporters have actually been the men’s wives who’ve recognized the friendship difficulties described in this piece, and have seen how much benefit their husbands get from just going out with other guys, and having a good time.

Separately from the church stuff, my wife and I have also made it a habit to try and get together with friends — in some capacity — just about every weekend… even if it’s just for an hour or two. Sometimes we’ll meet at a (dog-friendly) brewery patio. Other times, we’ll go out to eat or invite people over for a visit. It’s something we always look forward to.

Again, this was harder during the pandemic, but we got a little creative during that time, spent a little money, and upgraded our backyard patio with some lights, cushioned furniture, and a propane heater to safely (and comfortably) entertain company.

Now that we and our friends are fully vaccinated, the sky’s the limit.

Back to the larger premise of the friendship recession: I get that people are in different situations and at different points in their lives, so saying what amounts to “Just put forth the time and effort” isn’t going to resonate with everyone (it probably wouldn’t have with me when I was a single guy back in the day), but good friendships really are an important component in living a fulfilling life.

In other words, they’re worth the time and effort.

John Daly’s novel “Restitution” is now available for pre-order (click to reserve your copy)!

 




Bernie’s Q&A: Cuba, Ron DeSantis, Hunter Biden, and more! (7/16) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

Welcome to this week’s Premium Q&A session for Premium Interactive members. I appreciate you all signing up and joining me. Thank you.

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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


I just read an opinion piece in Politico by Jeff Greenfield titled, “The Democrats Need A Reality Check”. Greenfield is pretty open about being a partisan Democrat who wants the Dems to win both at the polls and in policy, but thinks propping up Biden as an advocate for FDR/LBJ transformative politics is a ridiculously losing proposition. Greenfield finds Biden and Congress have no mandate for such extremism. I found myself agreeing with some of Greenfield’s analysis but not some others – a perfect combo platter of opinion journalism that we need more of. I had two thoughts and wanted to get yours: I wish we could see more pieces like this from both sides – partisan analysis that is open, objective and realistic. I also remember Jeff Greenfield from his days as a Nightline and ABC News “objective reporter”. Isn’t it interesting that he, Sam Donaldson, etc. who used to masquerade as neutral journalists feel that it’s entirely safe now to wade into the waters of an openly liberal viewpoint? — Steve R.

Greenfield was covering media for ABC News yet I can’t remember him ever doing a story about liberal bias in the news.  so how objective was he even back then? On the broader subject, I have no problem with reporters who holds liberal or conservative views — but keep them private while reporting the news. If they want to openly express political opinions when they’re no longer hard news journalists, I’m good with that. I was a reporter for quite a while and don’t think my biases slipped into my stories. Now I’m a commentator and everybody knows where I stand.

Hi Bernie, I trust you are well. I’m writing to suggest that you read Andrew Sullivan’s latest work (on Substack) entitled “What happened to you?” It’s an excellent, full, deep, sophisticated, cogent, repudiation of the current woke culture, critical race theory and the proponents of these political theories/movements. I’d love to hear your reaction. — Andrew M.

I read it. All of it. And there was a lot to read. In fact, I’m quoting from it in an upcoming column. Sullivan is an old fashioned liberal — one who, for example, believes in free speech. The radical leftists in the Democratic Party have trashed traditional liberalism. Sullivan nails it. I hope you think I do too in my upcoming column.

So it appears Hunter Biden, seemingly overnight, has become Picasso esque painter. His paintings are offered for sale reportedly for between 75 and 500K ! What we will not know is who purchases them. Daddy in the WH has determined that no purchaser is to be known/named publicly. Why is that? I’ll tell ya, the Bidens have really bought in to “we’re untouchable”. And why not, who has pushed back at them, actually investigated them? So they have no problem doing things like this in plain view. You’ll never convince me that the Biden’s potentially aren’t one of the most corrupt political families in history. Oh yeah, and I thought Daddy was not aware of the business opportunities Hunter was involved in. –John M.

Let’s see if I have this right: The White House wants to make sure no one is buying Hunter Biden’s art in order to, at the same time, purchase accessibility to the president. So how do they do this? By not telling us who’s buying the paintings. This raises a question: HUH?

I grew up in Ohio. After college and grad school, I lived and worked in Japan (18 years) and Singapore (9 years). I now live in Arizona after a short stint in San Francisco (1 year) and NYC (2 years). My wife is Japanese and my son is half US/Japanese. Whenever I hear people claim that the US is “the greatest county on the earth”, it gives me pause. If I were to ask my wife, she would say Japan. If I were to ask my son, he may not answer. While I think the US gives a lot more opportunities, Japan and Singapore has a lot more safety and stability. I’ve had fun and enjoyed my life in all three countries. So if I were asked if the US is the greatest country, I can only respond it is one of many. Am I somehow not a patriot for answering this way? Our even if asked “are you proud to be an American?” While the US has done a lot of great things, it’s also has done many bad things. To me, all I can say is that I am happy and fortunate to be an American, the only thing I’m proud of is my son. Is that wrong? Maybe a good question for your Friday column. — Tony P.

Your patriotism is not in question — not from me anyway, Tony. But you say Japan and Singapore have more safety and stability. Japan is not a melting pot. It’s a homogenous society. We welcome people from all over the world. That may create a certain instability. As for Singapore, I went there to report how restrictive things are. Sure there’s more safety — because if you step out of line — even a little — you just might get arrested. You’re entitled to feel uneasy when someone says America is the greatest country on earth. But I hope we can agree that America gives its people more opportunity than just about anyplace else. That’s why so many people want to come here. And so few want to leave. But hey, it’s a free country. Feel free to believe whatever you want.

What are your thoughts on Ron DeSantis forbidding private companies in Florida from requiring proof of the COVID-19 vaccination from their customers? Norwegian Cruise Lines is currently suing the state, arguing that they can’t safely resume operations (in an industry that was hit especially hard by the pandemic) without ensuring passengers and their crews are vaccinated. They have a point, and it’s pretty strange to me that a Republican governor is imposing this level of government intervention on private businesses. A few years ago Republicans would have been standing up for the rights of the company, like they did the Colorado cake-baker. — Ben G.

You make a strong point about how it’s strange that a GOP governor is intervening in private business as DeSantis is. When Democrats get political and try to tell people how to run their businesses, conservatives holler. Whether it’s a good idea to require proof of the vaccination is a secondary matter. It may in fact be a good idea. But this is political in that, by and large it’s the right that’s complaining about “mandatory” vaccines. Is anything free of politics? Even baseball isn’t.

Bernie, Great evidence that fact is indeed stranger than fiction. That fact that Hunter Biden can nonchalantly turn to art as a money making scheme is a sad commentary on our media’s uselessness. If his last name where Trump, his escapades would be the stuff of outrage and vitriol. I can barely look at the guy quite frankly. — Thomas C.

Sure, the mainstream media would be going nuts if his name were Hunter Trump. No question about that. But you have to give Hunter credit: He’s figured out how to make money — with very little talent.

The good people of Cuba are rebelling against the Marxist tyrants, demanding freedom and basic civil rights, all the while carrying those symbols of systemic racism and white supremacy known as the AMERICAN FLAGS during the protests (cue the left wing pearl clutching)! Okay so the Biden Administration is spinning this as a protest inspired by Covid. Funny but with that free government healthcare in Cuba that genius Michael Moore brags about, I’m shocked…but I digress.

I’m NOT hearing any opinions about the current revolution in Cuba from Bernie Sanders, AOC (and the rest of the SQUIDS), Ta’Nahesi Coates or BLM leaders or ANTIFA. I find that odd since these folks had a lot to say about the affairs of Israel and Palestine, but again…I digress. I know I’m asking you to speculate here, but I’d really like to know your thoughts on why you believe these normally vociferous and opinionated people are being so quiet about such big news, and do you think that they are angry and upset about the rebellion, since it pretty much debunks THEIR Marxist vision of what they want the U. S. to be? — “VIVA LA REVOLUCION” Regards from The Emperor

Those pesky Cuban protestors are putting the American woke left in a bad spot. If the demonstrations were happening in a right wing dictatorship the progressive left would have plenty to say. You wouldn’t be able to shut them up. But this is happening in the dictatorship they’ve been praising for decades. How inconvenient. Reasonable people know that the hard left’s refusal to flat out condemn the Cuban communist dictatorship makes them look hypocritical. Good. Maybe they’ll lose some credibility along the way.

All true [regarding your “Off the Cuff” on Hunter Biden], but this joins the long list of nothing new under the sun. Neil Bush (son of George H. W. Bush) was put on the board of directors for the Silverado Savings and Loan. Why you don’t ask? Because his father was President. Heck go back further to Billy Carter, Jimmy’s brother. Remember those loans Billy got from Saudi Arabia? Have you ever gotten a loan from Saudi Arabia? Everybody does it is no defense, but alas everybody in power does do it. Nice to have it pointed out, but this is a non-partisan moral deficit in our country. — John R.

OK.

I’m curious if any of your (former) Real Sports colleagues have reached out to you since leaving the show to talk about your departure. — Darrin S.

When my resignation letter circulated, I received notes from some producers and two on-air reporters. Gumbel had already sent me a note. Let’s just say the ones who didn’t say, “Sorry to see you go” probably weren’t sorry to see me go. Fine with me.

On Wednesday, former president Donald Trump sent out an email to supporters in which he praised Jesse Watters’ new book. That praise, however, was quickly discovered to have been copied and pasted directly from the publisher’s description of the book on Amazon.com.

My questions:

  1. Which of these three things is harder to believe: that Trump actually read the book, that Watters actually wrote the book, or that anyone who’s bought the book will actually read it?
  2. Being that Watters served for 5 years as one of Trump’s most embarrassing media sycophants, don’t you think he deserved more from the former president than essentially a photo-copy of the back of his own book?
  3. Do you think that Trump would still be president today if he had spent all of those hours on Twitter tweeting Amazon product descriptions instead of angry nonsense?

Thanks. — John D.

Coming from you, John D, these are surprisingly good questions.

  1. I don’t believe Trump’s actually read the book. Nor do I believe that Watters wrote the book without massive help. I do think anyone who would actually buy a book by a lightweight like Jesse Watters might actually read it. Hardest to believe? One and two are tied.
  2. For all the ass-kissing Watters did, of course he deserved more from Donald Trump than a fake review. But anyone who expects Donald Trump to care about them enough to actually write a real review is delusional.
  3. Maybe.

 


Thanks, everyone! You can send me questions for next week using the form below! You can also read previous Q&A sessions by clicking here.




Crime, Democrats and the Next Election

Whatever anyone thinks about Republicans or conservatives or anybody who ever said a kind word about Donald Trump, none of them is responsible for the chaos that has erupted in America’s biggest cities – no matter how hard Democrats try to convince the public that it’s all the GOP’s fault.

The surge in crime we’ve been witnessing in New York (murders up 14 percent over last year during the first three months of 2021) and Chicago (homicides up 33 percent) and Los Angeles (homicides up nearly 36 percent) is evidence that while progressives may know how to get elected they don’t have a clue as to how to govern.

“Once in office, progressives don’t seem to know how to run anything more serious than a street protest,” is how an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal put it.

There are basic rules of civilized societies and one of them is that you should rightly be concerned that if you commit a serious crime you’ll wind up behind bars.  But that’s not how it works anymore in a lot of places.

If it isn’t progressive mayors supporting “defund the police” movements, it’s progressive prosecutors who don’t really like prosecuting criminals.  In Los Angeles, the new district attorney, George Gascon, is reviewing nearly 20,000 old prison sentences for violent crimes like murder. Why? Because he’s considering letting those convicted criminals out early, a way he figures to reduce overcrowding in prisons.  Voters have noticed – and have launched a recall movement to get him out of office.

And if you get arrested for breaking the law, more than a few liberal city officials are against cash bail requirements, because, they say, that’s discrimination against poor people.  So the guy who just got arrested can be back on the street committing more crimes even before the paperwork is completed.  Voters notice that, too.

In fact, according to a YouGov/The Economist poll, the share of Americans who say crime is the most important issue facing America has increased since Joe Biden became president, which may explain why he finally got around to noticing that there’s a crime problem in urban America. He recently gave a speech, which was largely about guns. But while calling for a ban on so-called assault weapons may please the anti-gun left wing in his party it won’t put a dent in urban crime, where the weapon of choice is a handgun.

Still, as syndicated conservative columnist Rich Lowry points out, “It’s a good thing the president has noticed that homicides increased 30 percent last year, a historic jump that shows no signs of abating. But he leads a national party that is largely incapable of seriously grappling with a problem that requires resisting the years-long intellectual and political campaign to delegitimize law enforcement and the criminal justice system.”

It’s a lot easier for Biden to blame an inanimate object like a gun than to blame criminals in big cities who are consciously choosing to commit acts of violence.  You know why? Because blaming criminals might actually offend those progressives in his party, and that’s not something the president is anxious to do.

I’ve had the impression for a while now that Joe Biden, who ran as a centrist Democrat, isn’t actually calling the shots.  It’s the left wing of his party that’s driving the car and Biden is just sitting in the back seat going along for the ride.

And that’s why there’s something you don’t hear from Biden or his fellow Democrats, who are always looking for what they describe as “root causes” — that fatherlessness is a very important root cause of a lot of the mayhem we’re witnessing in urban America.

The absence of responsible fathers in the lives of young boys in places like Chicago — where over Father’s Day weekend, 65 people were shot and 10 killed – is causing more problems than old-fashioned racism.  Yet Chicago’s progressive mayor, Lori Lightfoot, tells us that, “racism is a public-health crisis,” which continues “to rob residents of the opportunity to live and lead full, healthy and happy lives.”

And when I brought up fatherlessness with a former colleague, a progressive journalist of color, he angrily told me I was dealing in, “tired, conservative tropes.”  Conservatives talk about the problems caused by fatherlessness, I told him, because liberals won’t.

But Democrats may want to start talking about the things that make them uncomfortable – if for no other reason than the midterm elections are just over the horizon.

Rising crime has become a major political issue in America – an issue that could cause Democrats a lot of harm.  People care about their safety. They care about it a lot. Voters aren’t likely to blame Republicans for the lawlessness they’re watching just about every day on the news. But they just might blame Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.

That’s why President Biden took time away from his push to pass multi-trillion dollar spending bills to unveil his crime agenda. Surely he knows that a recent Fox News poll found that 73 percent of registered voters think that there’s more crime nationwide now than there was a year earlier.

And nothing focuses the attention of a politician more than the prospect of losing the next election.