Bernie’s Q&A: Carlson, Cheney, Hawley, and more! (5/7) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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Bernie, enjoyed your commentary “What Trump and Biden Have in Common.” This is exactly why I pay to listen to you and read your writings. We are all entangled in our personal biases and as a result interpret everything through this prism. Your commentary is, I believe, appropriately critical of the Media, but a little soft on Biden (at least out of the blocks). While Trump was/is brash, Biden is unengaged (not reserved) and Trump was/is impulsive, Biden is detached (not cautious). You are correct that Trump is mean (and I’d add unpresidential), but Biden is the opposite, not a “nice guy”, but rather a “vulnerable guy” (the type bullies pick on). The real question is why do people fight to the death for their bias. I think you’re correct, that this is not about Biden, but rather a disdain for Trump. The soft touch with Biden might be because, after Trump, the Press has lower expectations or it might be that our journalist have fallen so far down the hate-Trump rabbit hole, that they just can’t find a way out. I would like to hear why you think the Press is not introspective enough to notice that they wear blinders. Do they not see that the progressive path leads ultimately to their own destruction? — George A.

There’s long been bias in the news but what we have now goes way beyond bias. Ideology doesn’t sneak into news stories. It’s out in the open — and for a reason. Much of the news business these days is based on pandering to the news consumer. The audience wants its own biases, its own values and views, validated. So that’s what the viewer and reader get. And now the bias, the pandering is so ingrained in the business model that it has corrupted what used to be fairly (or at least relatively) honest journalism. The audience continues to get away with contributing to this problem. Cable news, the NY Times, and other are giving the audience what it wants — fearing if it doesn’t pander it will lose that audience. We hear complaints from news consumers about bias. But what they really mean, I think, is that they don’t always get the kind of bias they want.

Regarding Presidential lying; I’m still trying to get over not being able to keep my Doctor and not enjoying my reduced healthcare costs. How many lies or more importantly how significant will the lies need to be for the media and voters to begin turning on The Biden Administration? What’s it going to take? Maybe something as significant and outrageous as Watergate perhaps (sarc)? Or is it way too early yet and we have plenty of more lies to look forward to.  –ScottyG

I think, Scotty, it’s your last option: We have plenty more lies to look forward to. If the American people turn on Biden in a big way, then the media will follow. But if Biden’s approval numbers are over 50 percent, the media will continue to give him a relatively easy go of it. Sorry for the bad news, my friend.

Sir Bernie/—we have repeatedly seen the liberal media shills called out for their hypocrisy and dishonesty by you and other honest pundits. We all know they have a narrative to push. However if liberals truly want to solve the problems of Blacks and Asians being attacked and/or murdered, WHY in the world do they constantly push a fake narrative that white supremacy is the big Boogeyman trying to harm Blacks and Asians when the discomforting reality is that more often than not it is other Black thugs committing crimes against innocent Blacks and Asians? If doctors are fighting cancer, then it wouldn’t make much sense for them to treat cancer as if they’re treating a broken leg, but that’s what liberals are doing which leads me to ask you—-do liberals and Democrats truly want to help poor minority communities? Or is there something far more sinister or just plain idiotic about their solutions? –“Beware of the White Boogeyman” Regards From The Emperor

Two points, Emperor: One, you’re being rational. That’s why you’re confused.

Second, check out my next column that will go up Monday morning. It’s called “Why Liberal Journalists Don’t Cover Race Honestly.” And let me know, what Your Highness thinks.

Tucker Carlson has been trying to scare his audience to death again. This time it was by pointing out on his show this week that over 3000 Americans have died after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. The keyword here is “after”, not “from” (though Carlson was discreet about it). There’s no data in the database he cited suggesting those deaths had anything to do with the vaccines. It’s a straight death count that includes all causes. Thousands of people die every day in the United States, and because millions and millions of Americans have already been vaccinated, random probability decides that a large portion of those people will have been vaccinated.

What do you think Tucker gets in return for scaring people into not getting a life-saving vaccine? Is it all about the media buzz that craziness generates, and getting attention and publicity for his show? — Ben G.

Yes. Unfortunately.

I think Tucker Carlson is both mean-spirited and often dishonest. And let’s not pretend that that’s exactly what his audience wants.

I’m a big ‘free speech’ guy, but I also believe privately owned platforms should have the right to decide which content they do and don’t want on their platforms — even if they’re politically biased in their decision making. It seems that what politicians like Josh Hawley want is essentially a Fairness Doctrine for social media, and I’ve been a Republican long enough to remember how we on the right thought that was a terrible idea when liberals proposed it for talk radio. I’m more than happy to shame “Big Tech” over their biases, but I don’t like the idea of getting the government involved. I’m interested in your thoughts. — Sean S.

I’m with you Sean– except for one major point. Social media platforms have something called rule 230 protection. This means they can’t be sued for content placed on their platforms. If Congress takes that away, then they will have the same rights as newspapers and TV news operations have — they can be as biased as they want and while it’s unfair and detrimental to the democratic process, it would be legal. But as long as they have protection from libel suits, then they should not have the right to censor political views they don’t like.

Hi. New member here. What are your thoughts on Liz Cheney losing her high-ranking GOP leadership spot next week? — Jerry P.

Welcome, Jerry.

I think it would be a big mistake for the GOP. She’s standing up for what she believes. If her own party cancels her, while that will go over well with Donald Trump and his allies, it won’t go over so well with less partisan swing voters in key districts the Republicans will need to win if they want to take back control of the House.

I had to get my passport renewed and was caused to rethink the ongoing paradox: ‘does my gov’t benefit me?’ I’m in El Salvador where the US Embassy is a palace, not the scrappy, old embassy facility. It has 25 acres in a upscale area and has: an Ambassador’s Mansion; separate buildings each for State and Consular Services; Marine Barracks; a large swimming pool; tennis courts; employee parking (not for US citizens) for about 500 cars; and who knows what else. It was built during the war and security is impressive (windows, walls, roof, etc.), a little odd that they didn’t add a moat. But how much does it cost to operate this? What does it do, does it slow illegal immigration? Is it helping to stop MS-13? What justifies the enormous expense? – ElSal is a country of 6 M people, a bit bigger in land than NJ, so take this and extrapolate it out to the rest of the world, and wow! A veritable paradox. We have to be the most wasteful country on the planet. And the current adm. is going even crazier with reckless spending that benefits who? We do many good things as a country, but we also do many highly questionable and not so good things. — DonEstif

Can I book a vacation at the embassy in El Salvador? Sounds pretty nice. Maybe our government can put the “Palace in El Salvador” on Airbnb. Might make a few bucks.

This summer, Jesse Watters will be releasing his first book entitled “How I Saved the World.” In it, whoever wrote it under his Watters’ name will detail the Fox News hosts’ winding, illustrious journey from a smug, overly-hairsprayed, know-nothing cable-news lackey to Bill O’Reilly… to a smug, overly-hairsprayed, know-nothing, cable-news lackey to Donald Trump.

My questions:

  1. Were you solicited to provide a blurb for this book, which will assuredly be a biographical masterpiece?
  2. If not, what is the blurb you would write if asked?
  3. How many copies have you personally pre-ordered?

Thanks. John D.

I see what you’re trying to do, Mr. Devious John D. You’re trying to get me to say something snarky about Jesse Watters. Something like why would he write a book in the first place? Who the F cares what Jesse Watters has to say — about anything? But I’m not going to play your game. I’m not going to say he’s a doofus or a lightweight or a pathetic Trump toady. That would be wrong. True, but wrong. Question: Do crayons come with Jesse’s book or do we have to buy our own?

 


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3 Myths Dispelled (Again) by Liz Cheney’s Removal

“Do you think your defiance will change the course of things?” taunts a prison interrogator.

The beaten inmate, imprisoned and slated for execution for refusing to bend to the demands of the leader of his tribe, answers, “If God gives us free will, we’re responsible for what we do…or fail to do. I can’t do what I believe is wrong.”

It’s a memorable exchange from the trailer of Terrence Malick’s wonderful movie, “A Hidden Life” (the lines are in the film as well, but broken into separate scenes). Though the war story depicts a much darker, more sinister time in world history than the one we’re in now, and thus drawing any direct parallels would be both tasteless and inaccurate, the broader theme of conscience, disobedience, and personal consequences is something I think about quite often.

It’s mainly because I don’t see a lot of profiles in moral and institutional courage these days, at least not in the realm of American politics, where I spend a lot of time writing. So, when one does present itself, like what we’ve seen with Rep. Liz Cheney since January 6th, I take notice.

By standing tall (with very few on her side) against the shameful deceit and unaccountability her party has largely committed itself to, in regard to that day and the election that proceeded it, she has likely ended her esteemed political career. She knew all along that she would lose both politically and professionally from holding steadfast to the truth, in the interest of defending her oath to her office and the Constitution… but she has done it anyway.

For that, I have immense admiration and respect for her. And just as Cheney’s stance says important things about her character and devotion to her country, her impending removal as House Republican Conference Chair says even more about the current state of her political party. Along with demonstrating where the GOP’s priorities and loyalties lie, it — once again — dispels some myths that the Republican party has been trying to sell for the last five years or so.

Let’s look at a few of them:

Myth #1: The GOP is against the cancel culture

They clearly aren’t, not when cancellation is politically helpful to them. Aside from the fact that over 150 Republicans in Congress voted to effectively cancel the results of the 2020 election, Liz Cheney is being removed from her position as the third ranking Republican in the House for no other reason than that she won’t stop telling the truth about the election and its violent aftermath.

Myth #2: Support for Trump has always been about policies, not personal devotion

It bears repeating: Trump lost the election. He’s no longer a public official, and can neither sign nor block legislation. He can’t make executive decisions nor any decisions in government.

When he was in office, however, Liz Cheney’s votes aligned with his positions 92.9% of the time. The voting record of Elise Stefanik, Cheney’s much talked about and inevitable replacement, aligned with Trump’s positions only 77.7% of the time.

Cheney also has a far more conservative voting record than Stefanik, earning a 78% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. Stefanik’s rating is only 44%. While it’s probably pointless to cite these particular numbers since the Republican party has largely abandoned conservatism in recent years, I did so because some Trump fans reading this piece will predictably argue that Cheney is a liberal. She clearly isn’t, nor is she a “Never Trumper,” being that she voted for Trump twice.

But in the arena of personal loyalty to Trump, which is measured not by policy platforms, but rather unconditional, passionate defenses of the man (as perhaps best exhibited by Rand Paul), Stefanik rates much higher than Cheney. She has not only served as an unapologetic, reflexively defensive Trump mouthpiece, but even voted against the certification of the Electoral College. Her explanation for doing so included a host of thoroughly debunked claims that contributed to the Big Lie that ultimately provoked what happened at the U.S. Capitol. And she’s still repeating those falsehoods in interviews (including this week).

In regard to the January 6th assault, some may remember that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was initially up front about Trump’s part in it. Five days after the attack, he even bragged in an interview about how he’d stood up to Trump on the phone, telling him to “Stop this!” and accept the results of the election. Two days after that, he bluntly echoed the words of Liz Cheney, stating on the House floor that Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.” He also said, “Some say the riots were caused by Antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so.”

Stop this. Trump bears responsibility. Conservatives should be the first to say so.

But then, Republican polls came in showing what GOP members of congress were also hearing from their political base and donors: We don’t care what Trump did or didn’t do. We’re standing by him. You’d better too, if you know what’s good for you.

McCarthy waffled, abandoning his rhetoric and position, and also abandoning Cheney and other House Republicans who had the gall to continue telling the truth about what had happened (with some of those individuals backing it up with their impeachment votes). McCarthy flew down to Mar-a-Lago to meet with Trump, get back in the former president’s graces, and as The Dispatch’s Stephen Hayes puts it, “enlist Trump’s help in achieving his career-long objective of becoming speaker of the House.”

Since then, GOP state parties have censured Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, and have aggressively sought to primary them out of office in the next election. A few weeks ago, the House GOP went as far as holding a no-confidence vote to try and oust Cheney from her leadership position, and McCarthy was recently caught trashing her on an open-mic (for continuing to say exactly what he was saying a few months ago about the January 6th attack).

None of this has anything to do with policy. It’s all about servitude — servitude to a disgraced former leader who’s now a private citizen. Those who are sufficiently servile to that individual, of course, have nothing to worry about.

Case in point, openly bigoted conspiracy nut Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Matt Gaetz (who’s currently under investigation for having sex with a minor), are both in better standing in the GOP Congress, in the Republican party, and with Kevin McCarthy… than Liz Cheney is.

Myth #3: Trump’s critics can’t give him up

While it may be true with some, it’s actually the Republican Party who refuses — almost in its entirety — to give the man up.

Let’s review some of the things that Trump lost for the GOP over his four years in office: the presidency, the House, the Senate, Georgia and Arizona, the suburbs, lots of independents, and literally the party’s very platform. These losses have rendered the GOP largely useless in mounting effective opposition against President Biden’s progressive agenda and spending spree.

Yet, high-ranking leaders within the party are still unequivocally declaring that Trump is, in fact, the leader of the GOP. The House Minority Leader is still regularly meeting with him, along with other party leaders eager to get their Mar-a-Lago social-media pictures beside the former president. Elected Republicans who Trump has a personal beef with are being demoted, censured, and primaried (in some cases, all three). Aspiring Republican presidential candidates like Nikki Haley, who said in January that the GOP should have never followed Trump (and should never do it again), are now vowing not to run against Trump (and instead support him) if he runs in 2024. And of course, Trump remains a huge staple in the GOP’s fundraising efforts, even as he continues to spread the Big Lie, and very publicly trash prominent Republicans like Mitch McConnell, and even his former Vice President, Mike Pence.

Yet, some complain that it’s people like Liz Cheney, and those who still comment on Trump’s continued stranglehold on the GOP, who can’t “move on” from the guy.

Jonah Goldberg addressed this point in a recent piece, writing, “This is the double standard that has marked the entire Trump era. He gets to behave however he wants, belch out whatever absurdity or slanderous lie he pleases, and it’s okay because that’s who Trump is. But if you dissent, object, or just point it out, you’re the one who is obsessed. You’re the one who has ‘derangement syndrome.’ You’re the one who can’t move on.”

He’s right, of course. And as National Review’s John McCormack puts it, “Purging Cheney doesn’t help the GOP move on from Trump. It proves the party is terrified of moving on from Trump.”

Sadly, it’s that terror that continues to define the Republican Party. And I’m afraid it will for some time.

Order John A. Daly’s novel “Safeguard” today!




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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Coal Workers Union Doesn’t Always Represent Coal Worker Values

Attention readers: Dennis Prager is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by Salena Zito.

GRAYSVILLE, Pennsylvania — When coal mine employee John Morecraft heard last Monday that United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts approved of President Joe Biden’s plan to move the nation’s energy industry away from fossil fuels, Morecraft said he anticipated the news would be misconstrued.

“I knew the story would come across as though all coal miners approved of this deal, with no mention of how (un)representative the UMWA is of the coal miner population,” said Morecraft, just before going down for his shift at the Bailey Mine here in Greene County.

“The UMWA in actuality represents a small portion of the people who work in the mines,” Morecraft said. “What that means is that deal was not made with the support of most of the people who do the work in the industry.”

He is not wrong.

According to the latest energy statistics for the U.S. government, there are 6,758 coal miners working underground in this country today who are members of the UMWA, compared with the 24,820 miners, such as Morecraft, who are not members of the union.

The same goes for the surface-mine workforce, where just over 3,000 are members of the UMWA, compared with the nearly 17,000 who are not.

Once a dominant force that represented virtually everyone working in the entire industry, the UMWA membership today is the smallest portion of the mining workforce.

Had you not really followed the decline of UMWA membership over the decades and were sitting at home watching the news reports and thought, “Oh, wow, the coal miners are now backing Biden’s ‘climate-justice’ infrastructure package; maybe it is not that bad,” you were misled.

Morecraft said there’s another component of the story many people might miss. When deals like this are struck, or union bosses look the other way when the party they support hurts their jobs, he says it shows how the people who negotiate these deals are entrenched within this administration.

Morecraft does not fit any of the stereotypes of coal miners that our cultural curators in the news, government or Hollywood like to cast. He is a college-educated former history teacher who coached both high school football and basketball until he was laid off from his teaching jobs.

“I was kind of down on my luck, with students and a young family,” he said. “Working at the mine was my only way out because there are not too many jobs around here other than coal mining, which is now providing me with a life that I never would have had.”

Morecraft says he has been following in detail the proposals in the so-called “infrastructure bill,” which presently does include grants or loans to fund carbon capturing. He is not sure if those grants will stay in there: “What I don’t understand is why they’re not trying to put more money towards carbon-capture sequestration rather than displacing an entire workforce.”

Carbon capturing is not embraced by Biden’s environmental-justice base. Last year, when the House passed a clean energy package, 18 Democrats, including leftist Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, all voted against it.

And some of the most influential liberal environmental groups also objected to that bill’s plan to capture carbon dioxide from coal- and gas-fired plants. For many of these groups, it was viewed as a bargain that only benefits fossil fuel companies.

Morecraft sighed in exasperation.

“These people on the far left won’t even entertain the idea of carbon capture,” he said. “They just say, ‘No, fossil fuels are bad, and we need to go in a different direction,’ even though the technology isn’t quite there to even sustain the grid, as was shown in Texas this winter.”

In February, in the middle of an unexpected deep freeze, 3 million Texans lost their electricity when the state’s generating capacity could not meet the sudden demand caused by the plunging temperatures. Pipes froze and burst; people were left without heat and power for days; and the power grid suffered a wholesale collapse.

Morecraft says he loves his job.

“I am a fire boss, EMT, and I work in our bunker, which is the main hub of the underground. And it is sort of like a desk job, only in a mine, because I have all of these computers, and I am basically in charge of all the tracking of where all the miners go and also the CO sensors that go off.”

“More reporters and elected officials should come and take a look at what we do,” he added. “It is not at all what they think; there are no picks and shovels. There are just a lot of misconceptions. There is also a lot of presumption that we don’t care about the climate, and that always gets me. Do people not understand that we live, drink, fish, raise our families and enjoy the wildlife right in the same place where the mines are located?

In saying so, Morecraft echoes a frustration that energy workers frequently share.

Salena Zito is a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between. To find out more about Salena and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2021 CREATORS.COM

Last Updated: Monday, May 03, 2021 16:01:40 -0700




What Trump and Biden Have in Common

One of the reasons Joe Biden won the presidency is because he convinced voters he was nothing like Donald Trump.

Trump was brash.  Biden was reserved.  Trump was impulsive. Biden was cautious. Trump could be mean.  Biden came across as a nice guy.  But despite their many differences Donald Trump and Joe Biden have at least one thing in common:  They both have a long distance relationship with the truth.

In President Trump’s case, journalists were quick to point out his false statements.  The New York Times, which sets the agenda for many other news organizations, even ran a piece under the headline, “Trump’s Lies.”

The story began, “Many Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office.”

Fair enough.  Trump gave journalists plenty of ammunition – and the media should hold powerful people accountable for what they say. So how are those same journalists treating President Biden’s false statements, of which there are many?  Are they calling them “lies”?

On March 25, 2021, Biden said, “We’re sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming [to the U.S. from Central America]” That rated a “False” on the Polifact “Truth-0-Meter.”

On February 16 he told a CNN Town Hall that, “If we kept (the minimum wage) indexed to inflation, people would be making $20 an hour right now.”  False again, says Politifact.

About a week before the election, Biden went on “60 Minutes” and said, “I can send every qualified person to a four-year college in their state for $150 billion.”  His own campaign admitted he got that wrong, acknowledging that Biden’s free public college plan would actually cost – wait for it – double that amount.

When CNN decided to fact-check the new president, they felt compelled to point out that while Biden got things wrong he wasn’t as bad as Donald Trump, who the network bashed virtually non-stop for four years.

“Biden was not remotely comparable to former President Donald Trump in either the quantity of his false claims or in the magnitude. He did, however, make some inaccurate comments, mostly when ad-libbing,” is how CNN delicately put it.

But the truth is that Biden has made so many inaccurate statements that even the BBC got in on the fact-checking act.  “When I took office just three weeks ago this country did not have a plan or enough vaccines,” Biden said.  “But it’s not correct to say the US ‘did not have a plan’ under Mr. Trump,” says the BBC.

President Biden also said that, “I do think that we should have a minimum wage… at $15 an hour…and all the economics show if you do that, the whole economy rises.” To which the BBC responded: “But there are other studies which say the increased wage costs could result in businesses hiring fewer people.”

And according to FactCheck.org, at his first formal news conference on March 23, “President Joe Biden got some facts wrong.” Here’s a short list of only a few of those facts he got wrong.

“Biden claimed that former President Donald Trump ‘eliminated’ over $700 million in aid that Biden helped get for Central American countries. That didn’t happen,” says FactCheck.

According to FactCheck, “The president used the wrong statistics when saying that ‘nothing has changed’ regarding ‘children’ trying to enter the U.S. at the southern border. There was a significant 63% uptick in unaccompanied children being apprehended from January to February.”

“He repeated two familiar talking points on taxes,” says FactCheck, “including the misleading claim that ‘83%’ of the benefits in the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are ‘going to the top 1%.’ That only becomes the case in 2027 when most of the individual income tax cuts are set to expire but corporate tax cuts remain.”

And when former New Jersey GOP Governor Chris Christie went on ABC’s “This Week” and actually uttered the L word, accusing President Biden of “lying” about his nearly $2 trillion dollar infrastructure package, saying it goes way beyond building roads and bridges, he got blowback from the show’s anchor, former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos who argued that Biden’s proposal has widespread support, including from Republicans and independents.

“So here’s what’s not popular. Lying is not popular. It’s not infrastructure, George,” Christie said.

“Do you really want to use the word ‘lie’ there?” Stephanopoulos responded.

“Let’s just be fair here,” Christie said. “If Donald Trump had come out and called a dog a cat, which is what Joe Biden’s doing, we would be outraged by the fact that he’s lying,” the former governor continued. “But with Joe Biden, somehow it’s like, ‘oh well, come on, it’s Joe.’ No, no, no, no. It’s not true.”

At one point Stephanopoulos meekly added, “He [Biden] did make some misstatements about the bill.”

So here are a few questions:  When do numerous “misstatements” become lies?  When will the New York Times publish a story under the headline “Biden’s Lies”? And the most important questions:  When will so-called mainstream journalists stop taking sides? When will they stop supporting the Democratic Party and start doing their job?

Let’s just say I’m not holding my breath.