Bernie’s Q&A: Coronavirus, Biden, O’Reilly, D’Souza, and more! (3/20) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

[Editor’s note: the first question was submitted pretty early in the week, so it’s not quite reflective of the current situation]:

Hi, Bernie. While I can certainly appreciate the preventive measures being taken regarding the spread of the coronavirus and how deadly it can be to those with compromised immune systems and underlying health issues, is it really a pandemic when only a few areas have shown any proven cases throughout the country? I get the “ounce of prevention vs. a pound of cure” paradigm. But the madness of hoarding that’s going on all over the country, and where I live where not a single case of the virus has been reported, is over the top. Walmart and Costco won’t have more toilet paper and paper towels until the end of this week. Their warehouses have been depleted of such items because of the blind panic and/or profiteering that has resulted from this virus. If it isn’t in every county in the country, should it be called a “pandemic”? — Jake H.

It’s a WORLDWIDE pandemic, Jake.  So I have no problem with the terminology … and I’m not sure it would make a difference no matter what they called it. They could call it Carona-Palooza and there’d still be hoarding.  I agree it’s a little nuts.  But it’s what some people do.  It makes them feel safe.  Madness or not.

What’s your opinion of Dinesh D’Souza? Do you believe he was unjustly sent to prison because President Obama got angry about the book and movie that Dinesh D’Souza wrote and produced that put the Obama presidency in a rather unflattering light? Or was Dinesh D’Souza actually deserving of his prison sentence? Your thoughts And commentary are appreciated. — Right Wing Political Prisoner Regards From The Emperor

I’ve met Dinesh and he’s quite affable.  I don’t know if his sentence was fair or not.  But he did voluntarily plead guilty to a campaign violation, so there is that.   I just don’t know enough about the prosecutor or the judge to comment beyond that.

Bernie … What’s your take on Joe Biden’s health? His memory loss problems are very noticeable. Thanks. — Charles K.

I watched the Biden/Bernie debate and Joe looked and sounded good.  That’s the best I can do given that I’m not a psychiatrist.  Memory issues may be serious or may be nothing more than a minor and insignificant matter.  If he stumbles through an answer during a debate with the president, voters will decide how much they care about his health and mental state.  But Joe’s not the only one running for president with questions about his mental health, if you know what I mean.

Bernie, Thanks for your reply [to my question 2 weeks ago on my opposition to gay marriage on moral grounds]. A short follow-up. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:9 there were people who used to be ‘homosexual offenders.’ The Apostle Paul says, ‘and that is what some of you w-e-r-e. But you were washed… sanctified…. [and] justified in the name of the Lord Jesus’. God justified them in his sight, forgiving them, and changing them from the inside out. So, no, God doesn’t create people as homosexuals or transgenders with no hope of eternal life. He calls it sin because it is. Yet He washes us, as His gift to us. It’s not about us, it’s about God’s goodness. Though I may not convince you, yet I did want to share this further information. The word ‘Gospel’ means ‘Good News’. 2000 years ago people gladly came out of homosexuality, and the good news is this offer stands today. My best to you. — Bill N.

Got it. We just have different views on this, Bill, but thanks for the friendly discourse.

Mr. G, The younger generations, let’s say 35 & under are still out and about at bars and restaurants and other social gatherings. Why aren’t these young so called social warriors leading by example and practicing social distancing as suggested? Are these ”kids” mostly all talk and no action as they also tend to demonstrate when they don’t even show up to vote? — ScottyG

You certainly could make that point, Scotty.  I don’t want to stereotype an entire generation, so let’s just say a lot of the people you describe do a lot of talking about how caring they are — they care about the planet, about racism, about all sorts of discrimination — yet they can’t stay home and help bring this menace under control?  And where are their parents — telling them to grow up and do the right thing?  I suspect their parents are as arrogant as they are.  Enough.  Thanks for the question.

Obviously there are technological differences between today and 1918; however, do you think this is what the society was dealing with back then? — Peter L.S.

I offer this, Peter, from the New York Times:

“In 1918, a new respiratory virus invaded the human population and killed between 50 million and 100 million people — adjusted for population, that would equal 220 million to 430 million people today. Late last year another new respiratory virus invaded the human population, and the reality of a pandemic is now upon us. Although clearly a serious threat to human health, it does not appear to be as deadly as the 1918 influenza pandemic.”

With the understanding that you are not a mental health professional (nor am I), I am concerned with what I am seeing with respect to Joe Biden’s mental state. We all make gaffes if we speak enough (I have made plenty in my life). However, it appears that I am seeing something different with VP Biden. The gaffes appear to be bigger and he appears to get far more agitated (with voters and in general). It seems to me that VP Biden is showing the beginning signs of a mental decline (senility, etc…). Are you seeing the same thing or do you believe that I have it wrong? Do you believe that VP Biden has the mental fitness to be President (especially in light of the fact that he is running for the most stressful four year job in the world where such a mental decline will just increase)? — Regards, Mozik

Others have expressed the same concern, Mozik.  Imagine if he wins.  Voters will have said they prefer his mental issues to those of Donald Trump.  Wonderful, right?  Who knows how bad Biden’s condition is.  I sure don’t.  But I suspect — not necessarily in your case — that some politics are involved.  Republicans are more likely to “see” defects in Democrats — and the other way around too.

Bernie, Do you think Bill O’REILLY will be back on the air with a major cable network again? We did not always agree with all of his views but we enjoyed his show especially the segments with you! Thank you. –Patrick

I used to think he’d be back.  But I don’t any longer.  If it was going to happen I think it would have happened by now.

Bernie, a few ancillary questions related Chinese Corona Virus: 1) since we now know it is possible for college courses to be taught online, do we have the solution for keeping college costs under control (imagine how few administrators would be needed not to mention the fact that courses could be taught nationwide by the best of the best instructors, and of course without having to keep building all those new fancy facilities that add so much to learning difficult college level subject matter), and 2) how much would the world demand the US pay if the virus had originated in the US ( especially in a US laboratory). Please note these are real questions not merely poor attempts at humor. — Michael

Yes, it might be cheaper to teach courses on line.  But … there’s something about being in the same room with the professor which provides the ability to ask questions in real time.  However, going to class online is undeniably safer from from a virus point of view.  And if a year in college cost, say, $50,000 — and the online version were significantly less expensive, well then that’s a decision families would have to make.  Let me say that I don’t know how much cheaper the cost of college would be.  The professors aren’t taking pay cuts, that’s for sure.  So a lot of unknowns.

Regarding to other question:  If the virus originated in the U.S. not only would the world demand payments, but the left in this country would use it as their newest reason to bash America.  That, I am certain of.


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.

Bernie’s Q&A: Dem Division, Identity Politics, Election 2024, & more! (3/6) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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One more thing: I’ve been getting some very long questions lately. If you could perhaps trim them down a bit, going forward, I’d appreciate it. Thanks!

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

I agree that Nikki Haley will run for president in 2024. I also believe that another prominent SC Republican has positioned himself well for a national ballot, Senator Tim Scott. What Haley & Scott have in common is not just their status as minorities, but also the fact that although they have overtly supported Mr. Trump’s policies (and been supported by Mr. Trump in return) they have each carefully refrained from supporting his style & manner, at times almost distancing themselves from his behavior. I think a Haley/Scott ticket would be very strong, as not only do they each have strong conservative credentials, but they are both personally appealing and would attract voters in just about every demographic. I know some people might object to their “same-state” status, but I think that would be a minor issue. Your thoughts? — Joseph R.

I like your analysis, Joseph, but there’s a potential — repeat, potential — problem with both the presidential candidate and the VP coming from the same state.  Despite what some think and have said, it is legal. But read this for the potential problem, which would only apply in a close election.

That said, I like both Haley and Scott … and it’s a more ethnically and racially diverse ticket than even the progressive Dems could come up with.

It’s a long-held political belief that Americans don’t vote their interests, but rather their identity. So I found it interesting that black Democrat voters didn’t get behind the candidacies of Corey Booker or Kamala Harris, people who shared their identity. Instead they’ve remained steadfast behind Joe Biden, someone whom they perceive protects their interests. Similarly, it appears black voters in South Carolina single-handedly revived Biden’s campaign and provided a firewall to a Sanders nomination. It appears that African-American voters are the most sophisticated, strategic and influential among the electorate. I also applaud Trump’s attempts at reaching out and asking for African-American support (like during the SOTU). I have long said we as Republicans do not do ourselves well by being a one-race party, and African-Americans do not benefit by being a one-party race. Your thoughts? — Steve R.

Two points, Steve.  First, black voters in South Carolina voted for the candidate who was most closely tied to Barack Obama. So, in a sense, they did vote their identity, once removed.  Regarding your second point: I agree … African Americans might be better off if they weren’t so reliably Democratic.  If their loyalties were up for grabs they’d have more clout, more leverage in the political sphere.  And it doesn’t serve the GOP  as well as it might when they are largely a one-race party.  I’m curious as to what percentage of the black vote goes to Donald Trump this time around.  It was about 8 percent last time.  Some think it’ll be much higher in November.  I’m not at all sure of that.

Who do you think Bernie or Biden would pick as their running mates? I’m thinking Buttigieg or Klobuchar for Biden (as he would have to skew significantly younger for his veep). If Bernie is the nominee, his ideal choice IMHO would be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but she’s not constitutionally eligible for another few years. Maybe Warren or Sherrod Brown? Finally, if nobody reaches Milwaukee with a majority, is this when Hillary organizes (behind the scenes) a “spontaneous” stampede to herself as the compromise candidate? — Joel E.

I don’t think the Democratic ticket will involve two men … and probably not two white men.  Even though Biden seems to have the black vote locked up, he may go for Stacey Abrams of Georgia, a black woman.  Bernie — if he survives — might do the same.  I don’t see either candidate picking Elizabeth Warren; she couldn’t even carry her own state on Super Tuesday. As for Hillary:  Will not happen!

[Regarding your column on Mayor Pete]:

I’m opposed to gay marriage on moral grounds. People can do what they want, but to me it’s a moral issue. I have no issues with working with people of any type, and buying and selling and sharing times, as long as I don’t have to promote or condone homosexuality. But when voting for a president, if he or she doesn’t represent my moral views, it’s a check mark against them. I wonder why the word “bigotry” was even mentioned. If you follow the Bible, that’s not being a bigot, it’s honoring the Lord. No one’s perfect. We’re not talking about being holier than thou. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah due to rampant homosexuality. Can I elect a gay president? Only if the other choice is worse. It’s not a good role model, and not healthy long term in God’s eyes if we want our nation to remain. I will still treat people as objects of God’s love. We don’t go around condemning, but we also don’t go around condoning. Does that make sense? — Bill N.

You’re certainly entitled to your opinions, Bill.  And you’re certainly entitled to believe what you want regarding the Bible.  You ask if your opinions make sense to me.  No, they don’t.  You think homosexuality is a choice.  You’re wrong.  Totally and completely wrong.  Did you wake up one day and decide to be a heterosexual?  Was it a conscience decision? Or did your choice just come naturally? Those are serious questions.  Please Bill, think about them.  A final thought: The same God that created you, created Pete Buttigieg.  Or do you actually think Buttigieg was born heterosexual and decided he likes guys better than gals?

[Regarding your column on Mayor Pete]:

Even though many blacks may be unable to succinctly articulate their disdain for homosexuality, this black man can. The reason why we are callous to homosexuals is because their battle is not our war. Our battle stems from our identity, our race, which cannot change. Their fight stems from their behavior, which they portray as unchangeable. We know that’s nonsense. Identity versus behavior. It’s a mistake to conflate the two, especially when it’s a disgusting behavior. — D-Rock

Nothing I say, D, will change your mind.  I understand that.  But homosexuality (as I said in the answer above) is not a choice.  It’s how people are born. (See complete answer above.)  That’s a scientific fact — a fact that some people just won’t accept.  And I’m not going to lecture you regarding science. It would be a waste of your time and mine.  Believe what you want.  Just treat people with decency no matter the color of their skin or the orientation of their sexuality.

Now that Biden is looking like the Democratic front-runner again, I’m reminded of a question I meant to ask you during the Trump impeachment hearings. Most of my conservative friends think Trump would have an easier time running against Sanders than Biden simply because this country isn’t ready for (and hopefully never will be) a socialist leader.

With that in mind, it’s easy to understand why the Republicans were opposed to having more impeachment witnesses – they had the votes for acquittal, and the Democrats questioning John Bolton was a wild card.

But since it was clear that the Republicans would have acquitted regardless to what Bolton said, why didn’t the Republicans call the Democrats’ bluff regarding witnesses, but with the understanding that Joe Biden, Hunter Biden (among others) would be called by the Republicans?It would seem to me that dragging out the Ukrainian mess in front of the public for weeks or even months on end leading up to the November elections would have possibly impaired Biden to the extent that he would be considered damaged goods and no longer a viable candidate – leaving only Bernie to fight the fight. I wonder if this was ever considered, or if so, was considered to high a risk. — OverTheTop — Mike S.

I think the reason Republicans wanted to end the trial as quickly as possible is because Bolton and others would have hurt the president a lot more than they would have helped him.  And calling the Bidens to testify might have hurt the president too.  Here’s why:  Hunter obviously got the high-paying job for which he had absolutely no qualifications because of his last name.  As unseemly as that is, it’s not a crime.  He might have testified and nothing illegal would have come out. Embarrassing?  Sure.  But the longer the trial went on, the more Donald Trump would look like he was strong arming the president of Ukraine — because that’s exactly what he was doing.  Whether that was an impeachable offense is another matter.  And Joe Biden, instead of being hurt, might have come out looking like a victim. But here’s the rest of the answer:  You may be right.  But we’ll never know since the GOP didn’t take your advice, Mike.

It sounds like you may not vote for a president in this coming election. You and I grew up in a similar age and culture. My dad entered the workforce after the 6th grade as he had to bring in money for the family due to the depression. As an Army Sargent in the Red Bull, He chased the Nazi’s out of Africa, Sicily, and Italy where his third wound took him out of the war. While he was in the hospital, he learned his 18-year-old youngest brother was KIA on Guam. Another brother liberated Buchenwald. And another was also wounded. He found a way to become a manager at a major corporation and put his spoiled kids through college. And when my time came to vote I told him I didn’t like neither (Nixon/McGovern) and I would not adhere to the political establishment of the time. This of course was my liberal period in life. His prodding forced me to the polls to which I voted McGovern. My dad never asked me once how I voted ever. He was a devoted Republican. But his prodding forced me to pick a single issue that was important to me which at the time was the Vietnam war, so I voted simply on that issue. So, I guess I can put this in a question to you; is there a single issue important to you that would force you to vote? — Tim H.

You should be very proud of your family, Tim.  Thanks for sharing your story and theirs with me and our readers.

I understand your thinking regarding the Nixon-McGovern race.  But to answer your question, no there is not a single issue that would get me to vote for Donald Trump, even though I support the Republican Party.  Yes, I like some of his policies but I just can’t bring myself to support a man of such feeble character.  And I can no longer support any Democrat — even the ones who display better character traits than our president — because I don’t adhere to their liberal, progressive, agenda any more.

Do you think the left wing progressives will riot if Biden gets nominated ? Do you see an official split of the Democrats from the Pelosi/Feinstein/Biden types from the Sanders/Squad Types if things don’t go the way of the left wing radicals of the Democratic Party desire? — Fractional Regards From The Emperor

That is the big question, Your Emperor-ness.  Will Bernie’s Army sit home on Election Day if he doesn’t get the nomination?  Or will they hop on the Biden bandwagon?  The answer will have major consequences regarding the election outcome. As for your bigger question, about a split in the Democratic Party:  The Pelosi wing will try to convince the AOC wing that voters are in no mood for radical change.  Pelosi can point to the winners in 2018 and the party’s nominee, if it’s Biden.  But what will the AOC wing do?  Slink away and join the “moderates” — or revolt?  You ask an important question, Emperor.  No one, today, has the answer.

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.

Bernie’s Q&A: Cooper, Matthews, and Another Trump as President? More! (2/28) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

What are your thoughts on Anderson Cooper as a journalist? — Ben G.

I don’t watch him on CNN very much, but I know his politics from the little I do watch.  Journalists shouldn’t let the audience know anything about their politics.  But at CNN, the line between hard news and opinion is often blurred — and sometimes obliterated (see Jim Acosta at the White House).  But Anderson is a bright guy and does a good job on 60 Minutes, the few times I’ve seen him there.

If I look back at my life and the news (events) that probably had the biggest impact on me would be the JFK assignation; 1980 US hockey team, and 9/11. Outside of personal events, what’s your three? — Tim H.

Those are good ones time.  The JFK assassination makes my list too … as does 9/11.  The 1980 US hockey team is the biggest event in U.S. sports — maybe ever — but I only came to appreciate it years after the fact.  My third event then would be the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Care to opine on Samantha Bee and her tirade against Dennis Prager and Prager U? Also curious if you watch any of the Prager U clips (many of which have nothing to do with politics and are quite informative)? Also, in response to your mention in [last week’s] Q &A about “moderate” Democratic candidates, let us not forget that many folks view the NYT as middle of the road . — Michael F.

I know Samantha Bee only from the occasional promo I accidentally tune into.  I find her nasty.  So no, I have no comment about her run-in with Dennis Prager.  As a rule, I try not to comment on unimportant people — like Ms. Bee.  I don’t watch Prager’s YouTube clips, either.  If you’re interested, Michael, I think Dennis is very bright, but in my humble opinion, he’s become less of an intellectual force given his unvarnished support for our president.  As for the Times, once upon a time it was middle of the road.  Not recently.

On Friday, MSNBC and CNN were back at it again, reporting that Russia is looking to influence the 2020 election. Same ole, “Trump is a Russian asset” BS. This time, the plan is to have Sanders win the Democratic nomination assuring Trump of victory in November. It’s obvious these clowns don’t believe Sanders can beat Trump; many have said as much over the last few days. They’re scared to death that he could win the nomination. But really, they’re going to start this BS again? Brian Williams actually chastised the public for not immediately jumping on board with their warning, “it’s Russia again”. Yo Brian, you ever hear the story of the boy who cried wolf? Just stop already. — JM

For the record, JM, Russia did indeed interfere in our 2016 election, and according to intelligence sources are doing it again this time.  Collusion with Trump was the point of contention…not whether or not Russia interfered. They did.

I’d also like to take issue with your use of the word “clowns” to describe certain left wing journalists.  That’s unfair. To the clowns.

Bernie, Since this weekend is the 40th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, I was wondering if you thought any sporting event since that day has come close to it in terms magnitude and significance? Also, in my opinion your HBO documentary about the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team is one of the best sports documentaries of all time, thank you for putting it together! — Joe M.

Thank you Joe.  It’s interesting that even though people knew how the game ended by the time they watched that HBO documentary, they still had tears in their eyes.  It was a good one.  Now to your question:  That game at Lake Placid in update New York had significance which went way beyond sports.  So, no … no other sporting event since has matched that game in terms of magnitude and significance. But as I mentioned in an earlier question this week:  I only came to appreciate how big that game was as time went by.  The game itself, you may recall, wasn’t even broadcast live.  So it took a while for it all to sink in.  By the way, my favorite line in that documentary was “The only thing placid that day … was the lake.”  Live Schreiber brought the line to life in his narration.

If Trump supporters expressed half as much frustration with Trump (for alienating persuadable voters), as they express with persuadable voters (who’ve been alienated by Trump), do you think Trump would have stopped alienating persuadable voters by now? — Bill W.

Let me get back to you Bill when my head clears.  I need the Rosetta Stone to figure out what you’re saying.  Ok, I”ll give it a try:  I don’t think Trump would have stopped alienating persuadable voters by now because you can’t persuade him to do anything.  He’s unpersuadable.  Even though persuading persuadable voters would be in his interest.  Comprende?

Mr. G, I respect and also very much appreciate your decision not to vote in the 2020 General; but what do you say to those who say “If you don’t vote, don’t complain”? Either way there will be so much to criticize for the next four plus years and we don’t want you to miss out. If the “other” Bernie gets the nomination one might argue that a vote for Trump is more so a vote against Socialism, and hows that not a good thing? — ScottyG

I’ve heard the criticism — if I don’t vote I can’t complain.  I get it but I don’t buy it.  I’m making a statement by not voting.  I won’t vote for any of the progressives or so-called moderates, who are really left-wing lite … nor will I vote for a man of such bad character as Donald Trump.  But I can, and will, still comment on the news of the day no matter who wins or who loses.  Why do I give up my right to comment because I didn’t vote?  Does a 17-year old give up his or her right to comment on a war they may have to fight in, just because they didn’t vote?  If I didn’t listen to what the powers in this country are saying and doing; if I didn’t care; then one could make a case that I shouldn’t comment.  But only then.

On an amusing note, a friend of mine found this old George Carlin clip, and felt it pertained to this very topic (warning: graphic language):

Bernie, you’ve written that you won’t be voting for Trump and you won’t be voting for the Democratic presidential nominee. Some have taken that to mean that you won’t vote for anyone for president. This would seem like an odd decision being that you will still have the option of writing in Jesse Watters’ name on your ballot. — John D.

You have a good point, John D … and if you wear a hat nobody will notice it.

I remember reading somewhere that Trump’s ultimate dream was to witness Ivanka becoming President of the United States. Do you think she has any shot at elected office, or is the Trump name without Donald’s alpha-male charisma just too toxic? Also, if Trump is re-elected, could we see Arizonans Doug Ducey and Kyrsten Sinema duking it out for POTUS in 2024? — Joel E.

I met Ivanka once … we just exchanged hellos and a few words in Trump Tower.  I thought she was very nice.  But I also think her father had made the name, to use your word, toxic.  I don’t think it would help her; the opposite it more likely.

As for 2024:  I think the two who will duke it out will be Mike Pence and Nikki Haley.  Stay tuned.

Regardless if Trump wins or loses in November, how much do you want to bet that Donald Trump Jr. runs for the nomination in 2024? — Jen R.

I don’t think he will.  2024 is too soon.  If his father wins, Jr — I think — will realize that voters are not in the mood for a dynasty — certainly not 3 consecutive terms of anyone named Trump.  If Donald loses, that wouldn’t bode well for junior.  So I’d bet a lot that he won’t run in 2024.

You’ve written that young people are embracing socialism because they like free stuff, but I think it goes beyond that. Any time something catastrophic occurs or is at least on the horizon, those affected do well to perform some introspection and see what they did to create the problem. As capitalists, I think we need to do that with the rise of Bernie Sanders and “democratic socialism”. It appears 2008 was a real tipping point. Unlike Enron and the S&L scandal, where rich, powerful people actually went to jail in large numbers and for many years, the scions of Wall Street skated through scotch-free. These powerful men were not held accountable for their actions that almost killed the world economy, and no moral hazard occurred. NONE of those guys served a day of jail time, fines or meaningful punishment. Many were awarded their usual bonuses, because the markets needed to be stabilized (supposedly). Hindsight is 20/20, but where were the patriots in business and government to defend our unique and wonderful system of free markets? Young people saw this and so branded this behavior as “capitalism”, and we’re seeing the backlash against it. This is now its own kind of social justice. In other words, we capitalists did our part to create this mess. Your thoughts? — Steve R.

You make a smart, interesting argument Steve but I still think the major driving force is “free” stuff.  Everybody likes stuff that someone else is paying for.  It’s probably imbedded in our DNA.  I’m not minimizing your thoughtful argument, just saying I think free stuff trumps all.

To be clear, I DO NOT want Bernie Sanders nor his ilk to win the White House and run this country.

That said, Chris Matthews comparing the rise of Sanders to Hitler is despicable, vile, and shameful. However, I’m feeling some Schadenfreude about this for several reasons. Considering that Sanders always refers to Trump & his supporters as “racist, sexist, homophobic, islamophobic, white supremacists,” I’m highly pleased that he is on the receiving end of such unjustified accusations (seeing as how he has no problem doing that himself). 

I’m also highly pleased that Matthews (along with some other traditional virtue signaling liberals) finds himself on the receiving end of the vitriolic bile from the left (his people), seeing as how had no problem tossing such accusations and vitriol toward conservatives!

Here’s what I can’t figure out: shouldn’t it have been obvious to Matthews that such a ridiculously obvious partisan hit job would backfire on him? Did he honestly think that he would get away with that? And do you think this incident might actually get Bernie Sanders to realize that he too is a hypocrite? — “What Goes Around Comes Around” Regards From The Emperor

You make an assumption that Matthews thinks before he talks.  Did he think before he said Obama sent a thrill up his leg?  Do I think the incident might get Bernie to realize that he too is a hypocrite?  Tell me when to stop laughing.


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.

Bernie’s Q&A: Donaldson, Bozell, Barr, Jeter, and more! (2/21) — 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):

What are your thoughts on Sam Donaldson publicly endorsing Mike Bloomberg for president, and even appearing in a campaign video for him? Some people are saying it’s evidence of media bias, and that it hurts the credibility of journalists. But isn’t Sam long retired? Is there anything ethically wrong with a retired journalist endorsing a politician? Seems to me that his political leanings would only be a potential issue if he was an active journalist. — Adam G.

I’m with you, Adam.  Sam retired a long time ago so there’s nothing unethical about his endorsement.  The downside of such an endorsement is that it makes you wonder if his liberal worldview affected his reporting.  But who am I to speak:  I was notoriously even-handed as a hard news journalist … but now that I’m a commentator, I’m giving opinions all the time.  I know I could be fair back then and be opinionated now.  So I’ll give Sam the same benefit of any doubt about his leanings as a reporter.

I think most people consider you the leading authority when it comes to exposing liberal bias (20+ years and running), but Brent Bozell has put a lot of time and effort into the same thing (though he’s a partisan and never really calls out bias from Republicans). I’m curious what your thoughts are on Bozell and his “Media Research Center” operation. Thanks. — Jerry

I like Brent and I think the MRC does fine work.  But, and you alluded to this, their concern is only with liberal bias in the news.  I have made it clear to Brent that I think MRC would be a powerful media force if it took on all bias, not just one kind.  But that’s not what they’re in business to do.  If they were equal opportunity watchdogs their funding would dry up.  Besides, Brent has no interest in going after conservative bias, given his politics. Again, I like Brent and I like the people at MRC, but they’re partisans — not impartial critics of the news media.  Too bad.  But it’s never going to change.

Bernie, did you watch [Wednesday] night’s Democratic debate? Were you surprised Bloomberg was a bigger target (and boy did he get hammered by the others!) than the frontrunner, Sanders? Plus Mayor Pete and Klobuchar were more vicious with each other than with Sanders. Do you get the impression that the other candidates think Sanders will ultimately be rejected by primary voters, and that’s why they aren’t all teaming up on him? Have they learned nothing from the 2016 Republican primary? — John S.

I did watch, John, and I wasn’t all that surprised by the fact that Bloomberg was the night’s biggest target. The others see him — or saw him may be more accurate given his dreadful performance — as a serious threat.  They felt they had to diminish him early, lest he and his money take off and cause them big problems.  I don’t get the impression that the candidates think Sanders can’t win the primary and that’s why they didn’t take aim at him on Wednesday night.  If he remains the frontrunner, he will be in their crosshairs.  We’ll know more after Nevada, South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

My father used to say, “The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner.” I think we saw that twice in the last couple of weeks with people getting upset that they didn’t run the table, and then lashed out at the lack of purity in a particular vote:

  1. Trump won his impeachment acquittal and had every House and Senate Republican except Mitt Romney voting in his favor. The reaction of Trump and his supporters? Not pleasure in victory, but vitriol directed at Romney.
  2. Derek Jeter was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame but lacked one vote from a perfect ballot (this has occurred with every other baseball player in history not named Mariano Rivera). Still the Yankees fans came out of the woodwork with their righteous indignation. I heard one guy on sports talk radio advocate for finding and removing that one dissenting voter, calling his “no” vote a “dereliction of duty”.

Can we not enjoy our victories anymore, or are we too busy finding things to bitch about? — Steve R.

First, the specifics you bring up:  You’re absolutely right about the vitriol aimed at Romney.  It was unnecessary.  Why do it.  You won.  Be gracious.  But that’s seen as weakness by too many Americans.

Regarding Derek Jeter:  I’m with you again.  Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle … none of them were unanimous choices.  They all may have been bad decisions by sports writers, but with the advent of sports talk radio, a simple statement isn’t enough.  There has to be righteous outrage.  It’s good for business because that’s what more and more people seem to want — outrage.

And that’s the bigger point you raise, Steve:  That we’re so angry … about politics, sports, just about everything.  The polarization, the anger, keep getting more entrenched.  This is not good for the country or the American people.

AG Barr must have been going nuts and cursing Trump privately as the president tweeted about the Stone case and sentence. Barr was diplomatic in describing his frustration, but damn, Trump just doesn’t know when to stop.

That being said, I think Stone got screwed. Is there a Democrat involved in any of the crap of the last 3 years who’s doing any time? Clinton was winked through by Obama’s DOJ, Comey lies through his teeth, Brennan and Clapper perjured themselves, etc. Stone lied to Congress and he should do 7-9 years in prison?

How about the jury foreperson being a Trump & Stone hater? How did someone with her obvious bias get on the jury, much less be named foreperson? And it was an Obama-appointed judge who appointed her. Can the deck be any more stacked against Republicans and Trump? And yes, I admit he brings a lot on himself. — Thanks for listening JM

I’m pretty much with you JM.  Barr must have been really teed off with Trump’s comments.  But as you say, the president just doesn’t know when to stop.  And if he does know, he’s incapable of stopping.

You’re also right about the imbalance.  But remember, it wasn’t the judge who picked the juror … it was Stone’s attorney.  And it was the other jurors, again not the judge, who made her the foreperson.

But, for the record, Roger Stone did more than lie to Congress. He was convicted of 7 felonies, including tampering with witnesses in order to impede a federal investigation.

That said, 7 to 9 years strikes me, as it does you JM, as extreme.

I get the Liberal media pundits went all in on Avenatti because they so wanted his nonsense to hurt Trump, but why were they risking so much credibility (and now have major egg on their faces) over this guy? I’m more a middle ground guy, just an interested observer who thinks both fringes are nuts and the media is certainly “Biased” and I could easily tell this guy was a snake oil salesmen salesman. Who would be central in a similar case in your past experience where the media got so snowed like this? — ScottyG

First, you’re right:  The media went all in on Avenatti for just one reason:  He was bad mouthing a president the media, by and large, detest.  As for their credibility, they lost none with their fan base.  Fox viewers think they look stupid … not CNN and MSNBC viewers; they don’t care.

Can’t think of another situation where the media fell madly in love as they did with Avenatti.  But whenever they swoon, it’s usually over someone on the left who is bad mouthing someone on the right.

Bernie, As I follow the Democratic Party nomination process I notice that no matter the outlet the term “moderate” is misapplied. Mayor Pete, Amy, Biden, and Bloomberg are considered moderates. The policies they advocate are right of Sanders and Warren but hardly moderate. Do you think the reporting on these candidates is misguided, purposely biased, or just lazy reporting? Perhaps you have another explanation aside from my options. — David E.

I agree with your premise:  Even the moderates are left wingers. To put the best light on it, all the reporters are doing is saying Mayor Pete and Biden and the rest are “moderates” compared to the hard left candidates, Sanders and Warren.  It would be the same to describe GOP candidates as “moderates” compared to hard right candidates.  It’s shorthand.  But I — and I think you — would feel better if every now and then journalists would point out that “moderate” is a relative term … and that the positions of Democratic moderates are not middle of the road; they’re liberal positions.

Rush Limbaugh recently described Pete Buttigieg as  “a gay guy, 37-years-old, loves kissing his husband on debate stages.” And then he added, “Can you see Trump have fun with that?”

But of the sometimes bigoted comments Trump has made in recent years, I can’t recall him ever saying anything remotely homophobic. In fact, he’s made a number of supportive comments in regard to the gay community. Do you see this as a positive development within the GOP — a party whose members and leaders have sometimes given people reason to view it as homophobic? — Pete J.

I think Rush is the one who’s not comfortable around gays.  I don’t think Donald Trump would make fun of the mayor’s sexual orientation … if for no other reason than if he did he’d lose college educated suburban swing voters that he needs to win re-election.  Beyond that, I think you’re right, Pete:  I can’t recall Donald Trump saying anything negative about gays, either.

There’s often some virtue signaling from wealthy left wing elites—they will go to an expensive vacation spot or a fancy restaurant or venue, and say that they enjoyed it, but then complain that there were “too many white people” there and “not enough people of color.”

If so many white liberals want to experience diversity as much as they claim, since they often say that “diversity is our strength,” why don’t they attend some gangsta’ rap concerts or move to the proverbial “hood” or black neighborhoods to cultivate friendships with the residents? Why don’t they send their children to schools in poorer neighborhoods? Maybe their children could get part-time jobs there, or date from the more diverse crowd. I’m sure you sense the facetiousness of my query, but my sentiments are sincere. Your thoughts — Diverse Regards from The Emperor

Let’s stick with just one of your examples:  what schools liberals send their kids to.  I know liberals who talk a good game about mixing with all races and economic classes … while sending their kids to private schools.  Why?  Too many minority kids in public schools.  Hypocritical?  Sure.  But when your own kids are involved, sometimes you toss your cherished liberal principles over the side.  For the record, I’ve never heard anybody — liberal or conservative — say there are “too many white people” at the fancy restaurant they went to.  But I get your bigger point.


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Bernie’s Q&A: Trump, Romney, Pelosi, Prager, and More! (2/7) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

Do you think that Mitt Romney voted to remove Trump due to personal animosity for the president, or do you think he indeed believes that Trump’s abuse of power on Ukraine warrants removal, per the impeachment argument. — Don M.

That’s the million dollar question, Don.  I think Romney is sincere. I don’t think it was a revenge vote.  But more than a few people do.  Frankly, I see Romney as a man with far more integrity than some of the right wing fools who couldn’t wait to accuse him of treason.  I’m willing to take him at his word unless I have evidence or at least a strong suspicion not to.

Which was worse during the State of the Union: Trump refusing to shake Pelosi’s hand or Pelosi tearing up a copy of Trump’s speech. I’m not sure I care about either. LOL. — Michael

If Trump saw her hand extended than he should have been gracious — not a word one uses to describe the president. But what Pelosi did was blatant.  And so the Thumbs Down award goes to the speaker.

How annoying is it that liberal journalists who thought Romney was evil when he ran for president now think he’s a hero just because he sided with the Dems on impeachment? — Ryan G.

Just as annoying, Ryan, as the conservatives who once defended Romney from unfair Democratic attacks and are now accusing him of being a traitor.  But neither side surprises me.  See John Daly’s excellent column on this subject.

My last question raised the specter of John Roberts becoming an active presence in the impeachment trial by mandating other inclusions like witnesses and documents. You were not particularly concerned. I fear his decision to not read Rand Paul’s question may set a disturbing precedent where the SCOTUS Chief would become a serious factor in the calculus of any further –hopefully, never again– impeachments. What do you think? An addendum….It’s glaringly obvious that Schiff, his staff, and this ‘whistleblower’ were on terms of close association…..this issue may well affect public opinion on all of this… — Andrew M.

I’m just not as concerned as you, Andrew. At most, Justice Roberts decision regarding Senator Paul’s question — which reportedly had a connection to the whistleblower — caused only a minor controversy, if even that.  Roberts wasn’t there to be a potted plant.  His role was to make decisions.  I don’t think his decision on the Paul question will set a disturbing precedent.  Had he read the question out loud and named people tied to the whistleblower (or the name of the whistleblower himself) that would have caused a real fuss — and that would have led many — mainly on the left — to say he was taking sides.  On Friday night, January 31, Justice Roberts said from his perch looking over the the senators that he would not vote to break any ties.  That, I think, should put your mind at ease about the Justice setting any disturbing precedent.  He’s too smart to fall into that trap.

Bernie: I would be considered a “Reliably Republican” voter by pollsters and analysts, but in 2016 I voted for Gary Johnson for President. There was no way I would vote for Hillary, Trump’s personality and general conduct were too gross to condone, and I genuinely wanted (still do) a strong third party to emerge. I also considered Texas a reliably red state that was going to go for Trump anyway. In 2020, I’m definitely voting Trump because Texas is now shading purple, and I don’t want to waste my vote. I can see some independents breaking the other way because Hillary isn’t in the race. I know polling captures every little shift in voter tendencies, but do you think they are calculating the nuanced switching of voters like me? — Steve R.

While I, as a journalist, care about why you’re voting the way you are, I don’t think the pollsters care WHY you’re switching, just who you say you’re voting for.   And I’m not convinced people always tell pollsters the truth.  Some people might not want to admit that he or she won’t vote for a candidate who is black, to use just one example. So they lie to the pollster — say they’re supporting the candidate — then vote for somebody else.  Same with Trump supporters.  I think SOME won’t admit they’re voting for him, but vote for him anyway.  Again, the pollsters don’t care about your nuanced reasoning; just who you’ll be voting for … or more accurately, who you SAY you’ll be voting for.

I listened to your “Off the Cuff” about caucus system in Iowa. If I’m correct, in order to participate in the caucus you must show up in person and literally stand/sit for their choice. If that’s the case how does a journalist participate in the caucus and keep their political views private. On one hand, the right to vote is fundamental to what the country stands for – on the other hand in order to remain unbiased, a true journalist must remain politically neutral. It’s another – albeit smaller – reason to dump the caucus system. — Chuck S.

You lost me Chuck.  You’re asking “how does a journalist participate in the caucus and keep their political views private.”  A journalist doesn’t “participate.”  A journalist reports what’s going on.  Not sure why you think a journalist becomes part of the caucus.

I’ve heard Dennis Prager and others on the right say the decline of religion in the U.S. is helping leftist thought prevail among the younger generations, and that the goal of leftism is to get rid of religion completely (I don’t doubt this). However, I wonder if many of the churches have brought this on themselves. Long before the pedophilia scandals and Catholic Church cover-ups, many of the people I grew up with had pretty much become lapsed Catholics (non-practicing and uninterested in the church and observing its rules). And this is NOT limited to the Catholic Church. I dont expect you to know specifically why so many people of various denominations ended up feeling apathetic, but I’m curious what your thoughts are on this. — Religious Denominational Regards From The Emperor

I think Dennis Prager is an obviously bright guy.  But we part when it comes to religion.  If you are correct, that he believes the goal of the left is to get rid of religion completely, I’m not on board.  While it’s true that conservatives tend to be more religious, at least in a formal sense, than liberals — I see no concerted effort to rid the nation of religion.  If he’s talking about removing religious symbols from the public square, put there at taxpayer expense, then here’s another example where Prager and I would disagree.  If he’s talking about the so-called “war on Christmas” I thought that was a myth from the jump. As for younger generations:  Younger generations are often less religious than their parents. Religion and faith resonate more with older people who more often than their kids accept things without question.  Younger people question things and when you start to question matters of faith, there’s a 50/50 chance you’re going to become less religious than your parents and grandparents.

Mr. G, How have we gotten to this point where the far fringes are the leaders (I say that lightly) and the ones running for the highest offices? Is this media driven? There are plenty of good Pols closer to the middle who should be making noise and runs for leadership.  –ScottyG

The far fringes, as you put it Scotty, seem to have taken over a good chunk of the Democratic Party.  Less so the GOP.  Pols in the middle can make all the noise they want, but it won’t help if the voters reject them.  A few examples:  McCain was in the middle and he lost.  Romney was in the middle and he lost.  Millions of Republicans sat home on Election Day because they thought those candidates were too moderate — not conservative enough.

If the Dems nominate Bernie — a far left socialist progressive — we may learn that voters don’t want the fringe candidate either. Where does that leave us?  We may not want candidates who are out there playing deep left or right field … but if they’re in the middle they have to be really good pols with charisma.  Stay tuned.


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