Off the Cuff: The Gun Violence the Left Ignores

How much do you know about victims of gun violence in Chicago?

That’s the topic of my Off the Cuff audio commentary this week. You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.

 

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Joe Biden Talks Unity … But Sold Us a Bunch of Malarkey

Joe Biden may not be the doddering old fool that a lot of right-wingers claim he is, but he didn’t get elected because we thought he was a “woke” progressive either.  So why is he acting as if he is?

He ran for president promising he would end the chaos and temper tantrums of the Trump years.  He said he would bring moderation to the presidency and that he would unite the country.  So far, he’s done the opposite.  Instead of bringing Americans closer together, he’s doing a pretty good job driving us apart.

He talks a good game about unity and compromise — a message that the equally woke media have happily promoted — and that works with his fellow Democrats, who would embrace just about anybody whose name isn’t Donald Trump. But Biden also is good at pandering – kissing up to the progressive crowd. And you get the feeling that he’s just going along for the ride. That he’s being pulled to the left by the ideologues on his team – the ones who fly below the radar but, seemingly, are really running the country. And, of course, the media happily approves of that as well.

Let’s leave aside Donald Trump’s bogus claim that Biden and the Democratic Party stole the election.  What is undeniable is that the election was close.  Biden won only a tad more than half of the popular vote — 51.3 to be exact. That’s enough to win the presidency, but it’s hardly enough to claim a mandate to transform the country; to repeatedly try to push through progressive legislation that half the country doesn’t want.

You’d have every right to believe that a close election would lead the president down a path of conciliation. But instead of planting his flag on the middle ground, Biden is channeling the woke crowd, turning himself into an unapologetic progressive.  He’s even being hailed as the second coming of Franklin Roosevelt.

Joe Biden is 78 years old and maybe he figures he doesn’t have time to make minor changes around the fringes of American politics and culture. Instead, he seems to be in a hurry – in a rush to transform the country in his new progressive image.  Maybe there’s even a psychological component to all of this: Maybe Joe’s trying to stay young – and what better way than to pander to the trendy ideas of the young, the cool, and the fashionably woke.

As for bringing the two sides closer together, let’s consider what our new supposedly centrist president has said and done in the short time he’s been in the Oval Office:

— Contrary to mounds of evidence that his words and actions have encouraged migrants from Central America to head north to the United States, he has taken no blame for the crisis on our southern border – absolutely no blame whatsoever! – instead he says it’s all Donald Trump’s fault.  How does this unite the country?

— He has said that governors who want to re-open their states for business and not require its citizens to wear masks whenever they leave their homes are behaving like Neanderthals.  How does this bring the two sides closer together?

— He pushed through Congress a nearly $2 trillion dollar spending bill masquerading as COVID relief legislation without a single Republican vote.  Other multi-trillion dollar spending bills containing lots of goodies on the Democratic wish list are likely to follow and may very well also pass along partisan party lines.  How does that encourage unity?

— He has called Georgia’s new voting law “Jim Crow on steroids.”  Whether you think the law restricts voting rights or simply beefs up voting integrity, what it’s not is Jim Crow 2.0 – or anything resembling the racist, ugly history of Jim Crow that prevailed in the bad old days of the old South.  How does comparing Republicans to racists heal the wounds that divide us?

— He has said he would “strongly support” a decision by Major League Baseball to move its All-Star game out of Atlanta as a protest against that same Georgia voting law.  Two days later, the commissioner of baseball obliged. How does dragging our national pastime into the partisan political arena calm things down?  And as former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent inconveniently asked:  “If Georgia is racist, how can baseball talk of doing business with China?”

— And President Biden established a commission to determine, among other things, if we need more justices on the Supreme Court.  But who wants to pack the court other than progressives Biden is beholden to? Will court packing bring Americans together?  Or is it a “bonehead idea” – a name Joe Biden himself gave to the notion of packing the court when he was a senator back in 1983?

It’s true that elections have consequences, but big decisions require mandates, and mandates require big margins of victory, which as we’ve pointed out, Biden did not receive last November.  If we had an honest mainstream media, one that wasn’t such an embarrassing ally of the Democratic Party, more Americans would understand how, in his own seemingly friendly way, Joe Biden sold the nation a bunch of malarkey with all his talk of unity and moderation.

I recently wrote in this space that while Bernie Sanders lost his party’s nomination he still managed to win the presidency – because Biden, despite his centrist promises, is doing all he can to implement Bernie’s progressive agenda to transform the United States of America.  Since I wrote that and have witnessed President Biden in action, I now have second thoughts.  Unfortunately, they’re exactly the same as my first thoughts.




Off the Cuff: A Trifecta of Stupidity

Of stupidity and white supremacy…

That’s the topic of my Off the Cuff audio commentary this week. You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.

 

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Bernie’s Q&A: Carlson, Haley, Coca-Cola, and more! (4/16) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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


We have long debated the proper role between sports and politics, but this latest move by MLB moving their all-star game and draft out of Georgia due to the new voting laws seems different in two respects. In the past, if a corporate head wanted to contribute his/her own money for a political cause, to me that was no reason to boycott the business. Jack Dorsey (Twitter) wants to give millions to BLM? Knock yourself out. The Cathy family (Chick-Fil-A) supports organizations favoring traditional marriage? That’s no reason to cancel Chick-Fil-A building permits. However when a business organization like MLB seeks to essentially punish voters for who they chose to elect and legislation they chose to pursue, that’s a new, brazen act of overreach. In another respect, conservatives especially have talked a good game but generally not followed through on calls of boycotts and withholding commerce from woke corporations. This feels different, though. Do you think there is some staying power among conservatives who feel lines were crossed by MLB, Delta, and Coca-Cola? — Steve R.

Smart analysis, Steve. But I’m afraid those woke corporations — the ones who are showing us how “virtuous” they are but are really sucking up to the progressive Democrats who currently control Congress and the Presidency — will get away with what they’re doing. If you want to fly someplace Delta goes, you’re going to fly Delta. Coca Cola is different, of course. I for one will not drink it. Nor will I watch any baseball game not involving the Yankees. I enjoy watching Yankee games and I won’t punish myself for what MLB did. That said, I hope MLB suffers … I hope Coke suffers … I hope all those companies pay a price for their wokeness. But I don’t think they will. I hope I’m wrong.

Sir Bernie, Joe Biden said that Georgia’s voting laws are “Jim Crow on steroids.” Explain something to me please— A valid photo I. D. is often required for numerous legal transactions, and this is not considered to be racist, so what exactly is “racist” about requiring a legal photo I.D. to vote, and why do the liberals and Democrats oppose this and believe (and PUSH) the notion that voter identification verification is somehow racist? –“IDENTIFY YOURSELF!” Regards From The Emperor

Your Emperor-ness, Holy of Holies … If you understand this, all else will fall into place: EVERYTHING is racist nowadays. Even math. EVERYTHING. You’re welcome.

I’m going to make a bold prediction… Who am I kidding? It’s not bold at all, it’s a fait accompli. No way Biden boycotts it. Carter boycotted the 80 Moscow Olympics but there were no American companies doing business in Russia which would have lost millions as a result. Not the case with China, many major corporations would lose their shirts if China was boycotted. You know their names, Coca Cola, the NBA, etc etc. I believe Coke and Biden agreed on a quid pro quo, we’ll publicly decry the Georgia Election law and agree with you’re calling for MLB to move the All Star game out of Atlanta, if you can guarantee that you will not boycott those Olympics. After all, it is all about politics and money. — John M.

Whether there was a formal agreement or not, American corporations certainly are figuring if they kiss up to the Democratic Party, the party will re-pay the favor. As for whether our woke president will call off the Olympics. No way. I agree with you, John.

Right after the 1/6 attack, Nikki Haley said of Donald Trump: “We need to acknowledge he let us down. He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”

This week, Haley said that if Trump runs for president in 2024, she will choose not to run, and support him instead.

This is so pathetic that I have to believe her political career is over (and probably should be). What do you think? –Ben G.

She, like most politicians, is simply being practical. She knows she can’t win against Trump so why jeopardize her career by running against him — when she can wait 4 years and the run. Is her decision to support him if he runs, courageous? Of course not. But nothing is LESS courageous and MORE pathetic than Ted Cruz. Donald Trump made fun of his wife’s appearance and suggested his father may have been involved with the Kennedy assassination — and he still won’t bad mouth the former president. It’s really sad, Ben.

The US case fatality rate from Covid-19 as of 4/13 for all ages is approximately 1.8%. So for example, out of 6.8 million infected patients there will be 122,400 deaths as a result of a Covid-19 infection. So we just paused the roll out J&J vaccine for 6 cases of Cerebral Venous Thrombosis and thrombocytopenia after 6.8 million doses administered. The creation of this vaccine, in the time period it was created is nothing short of miraculous. Is the Press so committed to their hatred of WARP speed and Trump (J&J took $1B) that they cant put this in perspective. Is the press willing to sacrifice 100,000 Americans just to be right? Or are they just so lazy that they can’t do the math? — George A.

Probably all of the above, George, but certainly the last one you listed: Too lazy to do the math. And not smart enough to do it either.

You’re in FL where DeSantis & Dems have done a good job, but my part-time state is CA. Many CA counties are about to enter the lowest tier of lockdown & once there, restaurants can move from 25% occupancy to 50% . . . but there’s no ‘next tier’ to return to 100%(?). What “science” justifies this? “Science” is now a fluid term (like “racist” and “free speech”), and most times, true science is unsettled. Politicians’ appropriation of the term “science” has become an existential threat to the US. If CA restaurants and small business can only open at 50% capacity, they will die off. Nationally, Biden & Kerry & AOC are planning outrageous Climate expenditures that will limit many business activities and regulate others out of existence. Maybe insurrections like Jan. 6 will become more common like the “peaceful protests” we now accept. PS: Check out Steve Koonin’s (former Obama Adm official) new book ‘Unsettled’ — DonEstif

Despite all you say, Don, the governor of California may very well survive the recall move against him and I wouldn’t bet that a Republican would become governor if Gavin Newsom is ousted. As for Biden: His poll numbers are pretty good. Until enough people are directly affected by what you describe, Democrats will not pay a price for their policies.

Few people on cable news seem to enjoy scaring their viewers as much as Tucker Carlson. Lately he’s been inferring that the COVID-19 vaccines aren’t effective after all. First, I’m willing to bet money that Carlson himself has been fully vaccinated for some time. Second, the effectiveness these vaccines were sold on has proven true in the stats, and there’s been no instance of a fully vaccinated person dying or even having to be hospitalized with COVID-19. Israel, who’s been better at vaccinating their people than anyone, is now only getting about 200 new infections a day – which is fantastic. Yet, polls in America are showing the number of Republicans who say they’ll NEVER get vaccinated has been consistently above 40%. Fox seems to let their commentators get away with anything (other than criticize Donald Trump), but do you think the big wigs at the network have a moral obligation to pull Carlson aside, and say, “You’re someone they trust and listen to. We’re talking about a deadly virus. Can you please stop feeding them B.S. on at least this one thing?” — Jen R.

Carlson said this week that he believes in vaccines and supports vaccines … but wonders why if they effective, we still have to wear masks every time we leave our house. I try not to watch him too often, so I’m willing to accept that you’ve actually heard him say he doesn’t believe vaccines are effective — and are not simply relaying on what his left wing critics are saying about him. The bigger issue for me is how much all the prime time people on all the cable channels can get away with — as long as it brings in viewers.

Trump and now Biden want to pull all of our troops out of Afghanistan for what seems like a purely self-serving reason: to claim credit for ending the “endless war.” It’s hard to even say it’s for political reasons because few Americans seem to have strong feelings on the issue these days (most Americans don’t even think about Afghanistan anymore). For practical purposes, a full withdrawal doesn’t make a lot of sense and most military experts say it’s a mistake. The number of U.S. troops we have there is comparatively low, no U.S. solider has been killed on operations for over a year, and U.S. combat operations are very infrequent (practically non-existent). Our soldiers are basically just training and providing resources for the Afghan National army, supporting NATO troops, and serving as a regional deterrent against Islamic extremists organizing there, which are all important anti-terror roles to address a threat that hasn’t gone away. But the last two presidents have been fixated on removing the U.S. military entirely, even as a purely stabilizing force (as Obama did in Iraq which was a terrible mistake). And Biden wants to do it on the anniversary of 9/11 which is really bad optics. Do you see this as anything other than a vanity play for the history books at this point? We’ve kept troops in other countries for a lot longer. — Kirk V.

In the last few days I’ve heard a lot of compelling arguments — including from you — as to why Biden’s decision to leave Afghanistan is a mistake. That said, we defeated both the Japanese and the Germans in 4 years and we’ve been in Afghanistan now for 20 years. I’ve long believed that if we stay there for another year … another 10 years … or even another 100 years … 10 seconds after we leave it’ll be as if we were never there. My instinct is to say, Enough.  Time to go home. But as I say I’ve heard from many experts who take the other side. As for the 9/11 pullout date:  Bad optics is right!

Some Dems in Congress have just put forth a bill to pack the Supreme Court with more justices (non coincidentally under a Dem president). The bill VERY likely won’t go anywhere but it seems to me that this a political gift to Republicans. Polls show the SCOTUS to be one of our most highly respected government institutions, and also that the public opposes court packing. Do you think this will be a big GOP campaign point in the 2022 mid-terms? — Ralphie

It should be but I’m losing faith in the American people. Biden ran as a moderate … is governing as a far left wing progressive … and is getting away with it. Republicans need a good PR firm to get their message out. Because right now more Americans like the Democrats than like the Republicans. But let me add that this has happened before and the GOP still picked up seats in the off year election. So there’s hope.

I just saw where the Jen Psaki, the press secretary, said the administration wants to reach conservatives to convince them to get the Covid-19 vaccination. So, ads will be shown on Deadliest Catch, CMT (Country Music Television) and NASCAR races. Wondering where you fit in Bernie with those choices? I have nothing against them but I view none of them. Is that not stereotyping conservatives? Is that what liberals think of red state natives? Too bad there just isn’t a Hayseed network to reach. Imagine if they were targeting a minority group and narrow casting the ads that way. Would there be any uproar do you think about that? — Warren

I can’t add anything to what you said, Warren. You nailed it. Here’s what they think but are hesitant to say out loud (though some have): That conservatives are just plain stupid. They’re a bunch of rednecks. Most, but not all, are also bigots. The liberal elite don’t only think they’re smarter and more sophisticated than Red State conservatives; they think they’re better than those people. Better! And we wonder why we’re so divided in this country?

Earlier this year, the Dr. Seuss estate cancelled and handful of its own books. A number of people on the political right, not understanding that this was a self-cancellation instead of an example of the “cancel culture,” bought a ton of Dr. Seuss books (off Amazon and elsewhere) and made the estate a lot of extra money (effectively rewarding them for cancelling their own books). With that in mind, have you considered asking your publisher to pull one of your books (whichever one sold the fewest copies), sending out a press release announcing that the book has been pulled, and then sitting back and watching sales on your remaining books experience a huge surge so that you can go on some really nice vacations this year? — John D.

Usually Mr. John D I think you’re borderline CRAZY. But this is actually a brilliant idea. I can even go on Fox and cry about how mean “they” are to me, cancelling my book for no good reason. I’m sure I’d get a lot of support from the prime time crowd at FNC. The book that sold the fewest copies was titled “Is a Ham Sandwich Infrastructure?” Given all that’s going on at the moment I think I could hit the jackpot if my publisher yanks it off of Amazon and claims “they” cancelled it. Brilliant idea. I’m glad I thought of it.

 


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Liberal Bias? What Liberal Bias?

Sometimes, all it takes is a seemingly insignificant incident to show how biased journalists can be. Take Joe Biden’s recent stumble while walking up the steps to Air Force One.

President Biden was on his way to Atlanta when he tripped three times ascending the stairs of Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. The White House blamed it on “wind” and said he “left the plane with ease” when he arrived in Atlanta.

The Daily Mail reports that, “As of Friday afternoon, the homepages of MSNBC, CBS News, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and New York Times had no mention of Biden’s stumbling incident earlier in the day at Joint Base Andrews.”

According to various organizations that monitor the media, CNN devoted 15 seconds to the incident and MSNBC about a minute. NBC’s Chuck Todd on MSNBC said, “We’ve all run up stairs and had that moment ourselves. And if you haven’t, you aren’t a human being.”

Fair enough. The fall appeared to be no big deal and the coverage reflected the insignificance of what happened.

But compare how the media covered Biden’s fall with how they covered Donald Trump’s slow walk down a ramp after he delivered a graduation address at West Point in June of 2020: According to the Media Research Center, CNN devoted 22 minutes and 13 seconds to Trump’s walk down the ramp, and MSNBC devoted 28 minutes and 42 seconds to the story.

Why so much time? Because it provided liberal news outlets that were no fans of Trump with the opportunity to question his physical and even mental fitness for office.

When Biden, who is 78, fell, it was treated as simply a slip, something we’ve all done at one time or another. But with Trump, who is 74, it was treated as a sign of potential serious health questions.

The Times ran “Trump’s Halting Walk Down Ramp Raises New Health Questions” as its headline in 2020. Compare that to its headline when Biden fell last week: “Biden is ‘doing 100 percent fine’ after tripping while boarding Air Force One.”

The Washington Post’s headline in 2020 was: “Trump tries to explain his slow and unsteady walk down a ramp at West Point.” But when Biden fell three times in a matter of seconds, the Post headline simply said: “Biden stumbles climbing stairs on Air Force One.”

In 2020, MSNBC anchor Joy-Ann Reid tweeted: “Serious question: what is going on with [Trump]? His supporters have tried so hard to get the media to question Joe Biden’s mental and physical fitness but they so often engage in projection it seems worth inquiring.”

CNN couldn’t speculate enough about the Trump story in 2020:

— Anchor Alisyn Camerota asked medical expert Dr. Sanjay Gupta, “Do you see something, possibly neurological, that could be throwing off his balance?” Gupta responded that a lot of neurologists were talking about the situation.

— Anchor John King said Trump looked “a little shaky” on the ramp.

— Political correspondent Abby Phillip wondered if Trump was being “transparent” about his health based on the “latest incidents.”

— Political commentator Chris Cillizza said it was an important story because Trump was 74 at the time. “We know so little about Donald Trump’s past medical history,” Cillizza said. As he talked, the on-screen graphic read: “Trump’s unsteady walk, arm lift raise health questions.”

Then-presidential candidate Biden even got into the act, saying: “Look at how he steps and look at how I step. Watch how I run up ramps and he stumbles down ramps. Come on.” Pretty bold for a guy who less than a year later fell down three times in a matter of seconds while trying to walk up the steps to an airplane.

At the time, then-President Trump responded to speculation that he may have serious medical problems by noting that the ramp was slippery. But Maggie Haberman of the New York Times didn’t buy it. “There was no evidence that the ramp was slippery, and the skies were clear during the ceremony,” she wrote.

And, in its news story, the Times said: “Mr. Trump — who turned 74 on Sunday, the oldest a U.S. president has been in his first term — was recorded hesitantly descending the ramp one step at a time after he delivered an address to graduating cadets at the New York-based academy on Saturday.”

Compare that to how the Times began its March 19 story on President Biden’s stumble: “President Biden was ‘doing fine’ after falling off balance while boarding Air Force One before his Friday trip to Atlanta, according to a press secretary traveling with him.” That seemed to be enough for the Times; there was nothing in its March 19 story that raised questions about Joe Biden’s physical or mental ability because of his stumble.

Roger Mudd, my former colleague at CBS News, who recently died at age 93, told an interviewer on Nov. 18, 2011, that “A journalist’s job is not to march in the parade, but to stand on the curb and report what goes by. An awful lot of people think that we ought to be in the parade and not be a disinterested observer.”

Roger was onto something back then, but television news was more serious in his day and far less partisan than it is today. For too long now, especially after Trump was elected president, journalists have been marching in that parade without so much as a hint of embarrassment.

Roger Mudd was worried about a biased public trying to influence journalists. I’m worried about the opposite – biased journalists trying to influence the public.