Bernie’s Q&A: Harris, DeGeneres, O’Reilly, Pence, and more! (8/14) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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


I would appreciate your brief views on the contrast between the values of the left and that of conservatives (staying away from the radical fringe of both). A third category would be values in the middle that might be agreed upon by both centrist Democrats and Republicans, assuming there are enough left in the middle to matter. Please also address your thoughts on whether we might see a legitimate third party emerge after the years elections and what such a party might look like and which current politicians if any might be persuaded to take a chance and show real leadership. — Michael F.

Generally speaking, Michael, liberals on the left sees a bigger role for government than do conservatives on the right. Liberals, again generally speaking, often see root causes as a reason for failure; conservatives tend to believe in personal responsibility to avoid failure. Liberals are more likely to see racism as a major American problem; conservatives less so. These are just a few examples contrasting the values of the left and the right. Centrists are less ideological, I think, and take values from each side depending on circumstances. As for a third party: There will always be minor third parties but I don’t see a major third party on the horizon.

With the unpalatable candidates offered up by the two major parties, do you feel this is the year we could finally see significant voter support for a third party? — DeAndre

I don’t, DeAndre. But that said, I’ve spoken to several people recently who volunteered they don’t like either major party candidate and would vote Libertarian. I’m sure there are some who feel the same way and may vote Green this year. But I don’t think third party candidates will influence the outcome.

Bernie, a number of us have given the President much thought. We came to the conclusion that the unforced errors are inseparable from the man; and he would not have had the same success knocking heads of the many America-haters, the rogue and intellectually corrupt newspaper editors and the denizens of the Deep State. To tell a long story by an observation, if we made Trump more delicate, erudite and more anxious to please – we might end up with another Mitt Romney. Think about that. — Oliver H.

I heard this very argument from a friend, Oliver, just the other day. So you’re not alone thinking as you do. But why do we think that Donald Trump has to be dishonest, petty, and all the other things he is to deal with the villains you ask about? Do you really think a decent person couldn’t deal with them? You seem to be suggesting that being combative is a sign of strength and being empathetic and conciliatory a sign of weakness. Sometimes that’s true, but it doesn’t have to be. As for Mitt Romney, as a friend points out … he ran against a much better candidate (and an incumbent) that Trump did …and he won a larger portion of the vote than Trump did. Think about that.

While you do not like President Trump for the reasons you stated, many of us love him for exactly those same reasons. He states it fully and correctly, just Like Harry Truman. You and the left do not like the fact that he fights back and will not roll over and hide from attacks. More power to him. You seem to adore O’Reilly but O’Reilly has same qualities you despise in Mr. Trump. Explain that. –Bob T.

I’m more convinced than ever that Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters share the same traits as he displays. That’s why you like him and I don’t. (And yet, I still want him to win.) As for your comment that I “adore” Bill O’Reilly: Really, Bob?  In fact, I’m not too happy with Bill these days, given that he’s written about everything under the sun … except the bad habits of his pal, Donald J. Trump.

It looks like Bill O’Reilly is about to land a new radio show in New York. Any chance you’ll come on as a guest to set him straight on the long list of things he’s wrong about? Ha ha. — Ben G.

Bill has asked me to be on his podcast more than a few times. I did a couple of shows early on but have said no to all his recent requests. The last time he asked I said, “Your audience doesn’t want to hear what I have to say.” I’ll consider any radio invitations that may come my way. Stay tuned as they say on the radio.

Any thoughts on the Ellen DeGeneres controversy? While I’ve long known (and seen) that the “woke” crowd isn’t above turning on fellow progressives, I’m surprised by how badly Ellen is being hammered. There’s even a story out right now about her fat-shaming some classmate BACK IN THE 1970s! Good grief. Do you think any of this stems from her befriending people like George W. Bush, and standing up for some others on the right (though she herself is a liberal)? — Andy D.

I think a lot of it does have to do with her befriending W. Beyond that, you make an excellent point — about how the woke crowd isn’t above turning on fellow progressives. That’s very important. The woke crowd won’t be satisfied until they figuratively kill off every adversary, real or imagined. Watch how this revolution ends, Andy. Progressives who are cheering it on, won’t be happy when they’re in the crosshairs.

How will the Biden Campaign keep Kamala Harris from easily overshadowing Basement Joe? Or will they…? — ScottyG

It won’t be easy, Scotty. The more energetic an articulate she is, the more voters will realize that he’s neither. That won’t matter to Democrats, but it might to swing voters in battleground states. And they’re the ones who may decide this election.

I will not be voting for Biden/Harris in November; I prefer Trump and like you, I hope the Dems get crushed by a landslide by conservative Republicans in the popular vote and the Electoral College. However, should the Dems be complete victors in the next election, I wonder something, especially considering the fact that Biden considers himself a transitional president and wants his VP prepared to take over for him, that is—-would VP Kamala Harris be more likely to crush anarchist rebellions in Democrat controlled cities than say, Barbara Lee or Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren? I know that Kamala Harris is a left winger, but she’s also a former prosecutor. Do ya think she would tolerate BLM and/or ANTIFA causing violence and destruction in cities the way Wheeler and Durkin and Lightfoot have? Since my crystal ball is in the shop this week getting repairs, what do you speculate Harris (and Biden for that matter) would do to solve the problem of the ongoing riots? And considering that she barely stopped short of calling Biden a racist during the debates, Why do ya think Sleepy Joe chose her as his running mate anyway? — Vice Presidential Regards From The Emperor

My crystal ball broke in 2016. It’s way beyond repair. That said, I do not think she would move to crush anarchists. She and Joe are now beholden to the hard left. And if they go after rioters, etc, that hard left might turn on them. And that wouldn’t help her in 2024. As for why Biden picked her: All his possibles had “issues.” She probably was the safest.

What is your opinion of Biden’s VP pick of Kamala Harris? What is your opinion of the MSM’s characterization of her as a moderate Democrat? — Steve R.

I loathe the woman. The way she treated Kavanaugh was despicable. She’s an opportunist who will say anything to get ahead. Regarding the media’s description of her as a moderate Democrat: One more piece of evidence that they’re rooting for the Biden/Harris ticket. They embarrass themselves daily and don’t seem to care.

Below are the 2017 death statistics (reported in 2019) from the CDC. Total deaths that year: 2,813,503:

Cause of Deaths – Heart Disease -647,457, Cancer – 599,108, Unintentional Injuries – 169,936, /chronic Lower Respriatory Disease -160,201, Stroke – 146,483, Alzheimers’s Disease – 121,404, Diabetes – Influenza and Pneumonia – 55,672 – Nephritis – 50,633, Suicide – 47,173 

 The current death total for Covid-19 (as of Monday; 223rd day of the year) is 161,842.  If you extrapolate this number out, the death total reported from Covid-19 would be 263,715 deaths or 9.37% of the death total from 2017.  This represents roughly half of the deaths recorded in 2017 from heart disease or slightly above the total of deaths from diabetes, influenza and pneumonia and chronic lower respiratory disease.  This begs the question, how many of the deaths that will be recorded this year from Covid-19 would have died (at least statistically) under one of the above criteria anyway? I would surmise that we are not being appraised of the full statistical information, probably for political reasons (not necessarily republican/democrat politics, but internal governmental politics.  Your thoughts? — Douglas C.

You’re definitely on to something Douglas. Yes, some of those people officially listed as COVID-19 deaths would have died from something else anyway. Maybe those deaths from other causes were imminent. But for whatever reason — political or otherwise — if you have the virus and die there’s a good chance they’re going to put you in the COVID category. But you make a good point.

Do you agree Kamala Harris as VP signals the Democrats are confident her leftist leanings not only won’t hurt her but will garner significant votes from Leftists plus guarantee foot soldier support in abundance for the campaign? — John D.P.

Not sure, John. I’m hearing, as I’m sure you are, that progressives may not be happy with her despite her liberal voting record. She was — gasp!!! — a prosecutor. That said, the leftists hate Trump so they may hold their noses and get on board.

[On Tuesday] a very small group of mostly white, wealthy, privileged individuals decided to deprive a large group of young, mostly African American males of their right to pursue their dreams of making millions of dollars in one of their chosen professions. No one in the MSM raised an issue about this and most of the journalists who covered it agreed that this small privileged group did the right thing by taking this opportunity away.

I’m talking about what the college presidents in the Big 10 and Pac 12 did when they voted to cancel their fall sports seasons. If everything in America is plagued with institutional and systemic racism, then how come no one thinks it is racist when a group of mostly white university presidents take away African American males’ right to play? I am pretty sure that if this did not involve sports, the Left would have gone ballistic, but instead they are silent and not standing up for young African American males who had a once in a life time opportunity taken away without due process. Where is LeBron and the leftists in the NFL and NBA? Why are they not standing up for these young men and saying they are adults, they know the risks, and they deserve to play? Why do all of these so called social justice warriors in the media and sports stay silent about every issue that does not impact their personal bottom lines? They are treating these young men like children, not adults who understand the risk they face. — Joe M.

I get your point, Joe, but your argument is a bridge too far for me. Pro athletes get paid. They can play or sit out the season. If a college kid said, “Coach, I’m not playing because of the virus,” he’d be in the doghouse and might even lose his scholarship. And what about the argument that these black athletes you talk about are like gladiators, putting themselves at risk for the amusement of mostly white college kids and alums? As I say, I get your point, but not with you on this one, my friend.

Do you think there’s any chance, if the polls continue to show Trump lagging behind with important voter demos, that Trump will trade out Mike Pence for a woman running mate? — Ben G.

I used to think that was a possibility, Ben, but that was a while back. No, I don’t think that’ll happen. That ship has sailed. Pence is in.

So, when Kamala Harris was involved in the Democratic Presidential Nomination process, she had to drop out because of the bakers-dozen or so candidates, you needed a magnifying glass to find her position in the process. She was polling at roughly 2% nationally. And now, because she’s been named Biden’s VP running mate, should he win, this person, would be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. All because of her skin color and gender. Now that’s affirmative action people!!! Talk about moving on up!! FYI, she also was determined to be the most Liberal Senator in Congress during 2019, more Left than Sanders and Warren. Let that sink in. — John M.

It has sunk in, John. That’s why I’m worried.

I have a friend who hardly pays any attention to politics. He’s usually oblivious to whatever the clowns in DC and in the media are saying, and is he just focuses on his own life, work, and family. But recently, a political fire has been lit under him. You see, he’s a longtime postal carrier, and he’s incensed by the way that Trump:

  1. awarded the position of Postmaster General to a HUGE Trump donor who knew absolutely nothing about the U.S. Post Office
  2. THEN trashed the U.S. Post Office as being too corrupt and incompetent to deal with mail-in voting.
  3. THEN refused increased funding for the Post Office (the money would’ve helped them better prepare for the increased volume of mail-in ballots)
  4. THEN reversed his position for Florida (and only Florida), saying that mail-in balloting is secure there (because the state GOP explained to Trump that mail-in voting would actually give Republicans a political advantage over the Democrats in the election)

It’s like all the dishonesty and political b.s. were just background noise until things hit too close to home. Do you think my friend is the rule or the exception, when it comes to how most people look at politics? — Steve S.

I think he’s the rule, Steve, in this sense: When “things hit too close to home” that’s when people (voters) wake up. And that’s why those suburban educated white women who likely will vote for Biden may regret it when “things hit too close to home” — and by “things” I mean the anarchy we’ve seen in cities like Portland and Seattle.

I see by the insanity in your comment section that your Monday column got a ton of attention, with roughly 90% of those people angry at you. Something a BUNCH of them said confuses me: that it’s cowardly not to vote for Trump (who you said you would prefer beat Biden). What’s “cowardly” about not voting for someone (who in this case you think is unfit for office)? And for that matter, what’s “brave” about deciding that you have to vote for a major-party candidate? I don’t get it. It seems to me that if “bravery” were to be associated at all with someone’s voting position, it would better apply to those whose publicly stated position is sure to p*ss off people on both sides of the aisle. Ha! — Alex D.

I have absolutely no problem with critics who said, “Hold you nose Bernie and vote for Trump.” I understand that argument. I think it has merit. But the bozos who called me a coward and a traitor for not voting for their messiah can take a hike.

 


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: Swan, Barr, Social Media Bans, Maxwell, and more (7/31) — 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):


Bernie, did you see Jonathan Swan’s interview clip with Trump about Russian bounties on our military? I think Swan has become a very sharp and prepared interviewer. Was interested in your take on him, and also the fact that Trump has never even brought up the “bounty” issue with Putin in the 8 conversations they’ve had since it became known. — Alex

I also think Swan is a solid journalist. As for bringing up the bounty issue with Putin: What if Trump did? Putin would deny it. What then? But not bringing it up — in eight conversations — gives ammo to Democrats who still think Trump and Putin are collaborating on something or other.

Trump gave an interview with Barstool Sports, and during the interview said, “It used to be in the old days before this, you’d write a letter and you’d say this letter is very big. You put it on your desk and then you go back tomorrow and you say, ‘Oh, I’m glad I didn’t send it,’ right? But we don’t do that with Twitter, right? We put it out instantaneously, we feel great, and then you start getting phone calls — ‘Did you really say this?’ I say, ‘What’s wrong with that?’ and you find out a lot of things.”

He later said it’s his retweets that tend to get him in trouble, not necessarily his own tweets. Regardless, has hell frozen over? I never thought Trump would regret any of his actions, including retweets or tweets.  — Joe M.

I was pleasantly surprised too, Joe. But just because he seemed contrite doesn’t mean he really was and it sure doesn’t mean he won’t do again precisely what he suggested he regrets.

As the MLB season began this past week, and as the NBA and NFL seasons beckon, it appears that kneeling will become a regular part of our professional sports leagues (and no doubt college athletics as well). Here are my suggestions and questions. Instead of kneeling during the national anthem, why not instead have a separate one minute of silence before or after the playing and singing of the national anthem (with players as and fans having the ability to show their support by kneeling or otherwise)? Racial issues could be highlighted without showing disrespect for the flag or America. Would this not be consistent with the claims made by those taking a knee that they are simply trying to draw attention to the need to address systemic racism and are not intending to show disrespect for America or those who serve in the military (and those who have died in service to the country). One final question. Is there a time limit as to how long the kneeling should continue or will this be part of pregame rituals for a very extended period of time? — Michael F.

Here’s my take, Michael: I think people go to sports to escape politics. At some point (soon) fans may grow tired of players taking a knee before a game … and looking at slogans on NBA uniforms … and the rest. If we weren’t so hungry for live sports during this pandemic, fans might tune out — a form of protest too. They still might.

As for a time limit on the kneeling: Shorter is better than longer. And even though I’m not a fan of taking a knee, it is silent and non disruptive … so take a knee, get it over with and play ball.

Dear Mr. Goldberg: Longtime follower, but newly-minted subscriber and former TV journalist who read your “Bias” books, and raised in your neck of the woods, The Magic City of Miami! And may I add, best $4 I ever spent!

You wrote in your July 13 column that “Americans are exhausted with this president” and you mentioned several negative descriptions of his behavior. No argument here. But you also wrote that people are “exhausted with the non-stop controversies and chaos.” I was surprised you didn’t include the liberal media and Democrats who have tormented Mr. Trump from the get-go. Am I cherry picking? Speaking of the liberal media, I just read an entry about it in Wikipedia, and did you know they pay you a high compliment when they label your “Bias” book as “toxic”? Meanwhile, the site describes a competing book from the other side that “challenges the widespread conservative belief in liberal media bias…that the media as a whole, is not biased liberally, but conservatively.” That sounds like word-salad to me but wasn’t that the point of your books? Thanks for all you do! — James F. in Florida

Hey James. Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I did say that people are exhausted with the non stop controversies and chaos. I think the polls back up that belief. And yes, liberal journalists who are out to get this president certainly contribute to that chaos. I’ve written about that many times over the years, if not in that particular column. As for my book being tagged as “toxic” — sticks and stones …

In my last book, A Slobbering Love Affair, I quote two liberal political journalists who acknowledge that there’s a liberal bias. They’re just not troubled by it. But even open minded liberals know that liberal bias is real.

Bernie, Rutgers is this your alma mater, right? RU announced it will change its standards of English instruction in an effort to stand with and respond to the BLM Movement. In response, Leonydus Johnson, a speech pathologist and Libertarian activist said, the change makes the racist assumption that minorities cannot comprehend traditional English. He called the change “insulting, patronizing, and in itself extremely racist.” “The idea that expecting a student to write in grammatically correct sentences is indicative of racial bias is asinine. It has become very clear to me that those who claim to be anti-racist are often the most racist people in this country”……. more dumbing down of America by the Democrats. Once upon a time you couldn’t get into college without strong English schools, not to mention pass the SATs. I know it’s a different world, but how low are we going to go with reducing standards in the country? We already rank low in many educational categories in comparison to the rest of the world. SMH — John M.

Rutgers University, my alma mater, opened its doors in 1776 — 10 years before the United States of America became a reality. Henry Rutgers must be rolling over in his grave over this latest moronic move by Rutgers. When I went there, Rutgers was considered a blue collar Ivy. They told us at orientation to look at the student to the right of us and then look at the student to the left. One of the three of us, we were told, would be there by the end of the year. If you didn’t know proper grammar you wouldn’t have gotten in and if you did you’d be one of the three that didn’t make it after a year. Now, grammar is racist. Another reason I refuse to support Rutgers when they call for money.

I believe that Ghislane Maxwell is entitled to due process under the law, but Donald Trump actually WISHING HER WELL!? WHY!? I’m surprised the biased lamestream media didn’t make more out of this! This is dumb even for him! Also, when Jeffrey Epstein got that slap on the wrist in Florida years ago, I have a theory: Since Epstein’s attorneys were an infamous conservative (Ken Starr) and an infamous liberal (Alan Dershowitz), Starr threatened all the “respectable” and vulnerable left wing perverts out there, and Alan Dershowitz did the same thing with the right wing pervs in order to land that slap on the wrist from the prosecutor. What do you think, Sir Bernie? Is that how you believe it may have gone down? Is Ghislane Maxwell in danger of being suicided” in prison? And WHY oh WHY did Trump wish her well? Damn F—ING DUMB if you ask me! — “Watch your back, Ghislane, and I wish you well” Regards, From The Emperor

Let me address just one of your points, Sir Emperor … the one about Trump wishing her well. I almost fell off the couch and spit up the snack I was munching on when I heard that. How stupid does one have to be to say that? Don’t answer that Emperor. I’m not sure which is dopier, his wishing her well comment or saying that we won two “beautiful” world wars. You can’t make this stuff up, Your Highness.

Biden’s campaign turned down a Chris Wallace interview on Fox News. If “Sleepy Joe’s” handlers cannot handle a TV interview with a fair-minded journalist like Chris Wallace, how do they think Joe will survive a ‘cage match’ with a ‘rototiller’ opponent like Trump in the presidential debates? They should re-think their decision and consider Chris Wallace a ‘spring-training’ exercise, but that would be an intelligent move. — Peter E.

There’s a very good reason Joe Biden turned down the interview, Peter. The reason is Biden would get so confused by the questions that everyone would know that he really has lost a few of his marbles. As for the debates, I think Trump would make a big mistake if he gets nasty. That’ll engender sympathy for Joe. Good rule of thumb: Never make fun of people who might have early onset of dementia. But I don’t know if our president can control his instincts. Best to let Joe sink himself … assuming he gets questions from journalists that go beyond, “What’s your favorite color, Mr. Biden?”

A couple of interesting notes on Facebook. A picture of a Mask in its wrapping had a disclaimer, which I will paraphrase, Wearing a mask does not guarantee you protection from Covid-19. The second is the video of a few days ago where so called physicians were in front of the SCOTUS building talking about Covid-19 which was pulled stating it was fake news. My confusion is what is fake? The picture definitely had the declaimer and the physicians did hold a press conference. If Facebook asked you, what would you recommend as a process to determine what is fake or not. In my opinion, post what you want. As a user I don’t have to read what I don’t want to. — Tim H.

It’s my understanding that Facebook (or was it Twitter?) pulled the video because the doctor declared that hydroxychloroquine is a literal “cure” for COVID-19 — which it isn’t. As for the disclaimer, that comes from lawyers who don’t want to be sued by someone who says, “I thought the mask would protect me — and it didn’t.” As a general rule, I don’t want social media companies to determine what’s true and what isn’t. As I say, as a general rule. But if someone says eating grapes is a cure for cancer, some idiot might believe it. That might be an exception to my general rule. Same with declaring that a drug is a cure for COVID-19.

I saw this re-tweet from Brit Hume after the Barr hearings yesterday:

By @AndrewCMcCarthy:“What happened on Capitol Hill Tuesday was a debacle to despair over because Democrats do not act this way because they are preternaturally rude. They act this way because their voters expect and demand that they act this way.”

So, Do anywhere near a majority of Democratic voters expect this type of behavior From the elected officials? Are civil minded Democratic leaders “afraid to speak out” as well per your Weds “Off the Cuff”? Isn’t there a strong possibility that a good number of Dem voters might sit this one out in November as well? — ScottyG

We won’t know until Election Day if Democrat voters approve of the appalling behavior of Jerry Nadler and his nasty gang of authoritarian progressives. You ask, if Democratic leaders are afraid to speak out. They’re in on it — that’s why they’re not speaking out! Anything to discredit Barr and in the process discredit the Durham report that will show how Democrats knew Donald Trump wasn’t colluding with the Russians and proceeded to investigate him for more than two years anyway. If Biden somehow manages to lose, those hearings will be a big reason.

I am going to quit watching the evening national news. Today there was an article in the local Minneapolis Star Tribune about a guy they call “Umbrella Man.” Early on, the national press was pushing the narrative that it was White Supremacy that was causing the riots in Minneapolis. This was disproved by a local network TV news organization. Tonight, on ABC evening news they focused on Umbrella Man who they have identified as a White Supremacist. Maybe he his, who knows. But ABC pointed out that no riots occurred prior to him walking down the street breaking windows and to paraphrase, “he caused the night of destruction”. So according to ABC evening news, the good people of Minneapolis who would never break the law came out and chose to break the law with hammers, Molotov cocktails, and other devices because a single white individual white man? Am I in the twilight light zone? — Tim

No Tim, you’re not in the twilight zone. But a lot of journalists are.

Bernie, I have a somewhat complex disagreement with your suggestion that there will be even more looting and rioting if Biden becomes president. It’s true that this stuff has been happening in cities governed by impotent Democrats, and it’s also true that neither Trump nor his sending of federal officers are to blame for the violence (as some Dems have stupidly said). BUT, I do think that a lot of this stuff (which started with George Floyd before morphing into its present form) is being done to spite Trump. I think these anarchists love doing this in what they view as Trump’s America, and they wrongly feel justified in taking on the president this way, because he has been such a divisive and combative figure. Again… I don’t blame Trump. But I suspect if Biden were to win, they’d actually lose some of their will to fight. And if Trump were to win, the violence would more likely continue and even intensify. Not that anyone should base their vote on that (they shouldn’t!). Does that make any sense? — Ben G.

I’m with you Ben in that if Trump somehow, some way, manages to win, the mayhem will intensify. But if Biden wins, the anarchists won’t be satisfied. It’s not unusual that in revolutions — and we’re in the midst of a cultural revolution right now — the leaders often turn on their own. They won’t be happy until they fundamentally change America. They may even go after Bernie Sanders before this is over. Given the nightly chaos, if Donald Trump weren’t so unlikable, he’d win in a landslide.

 


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: Weiss, West, Wojnarowski, Trump TV, and more! (7/17) — 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.

Editor’s note: If you enjoy these sessions (along with the weekly columns and audio commentaries), please use the Facebook and Twitter buttons to share this page with your friends and family. Thank you! 

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


What’s your take on Kanye West? He obviously has no chance of winning the election (for one thing, too many filing dates have passed), but if he got on the ballot in a few key battleground states, could he peel JUST enough votes away from Biden to give Trump the win? — Joel E.

I refuse to take Kanye West seriously, Joel. He’s not running for president no matter how many times he says it. He won’t get on any ballots. A Kanye endorsement might help one candidate or another — but that would require his fans to actually go out and vote. Something else I wouldn’t bet on.

Bernie, Senator Hawley (R-MO) sent out a press release today last Friday asking NBA Commissioner Adam Silver if he would allow players to wear slogans on their jerseys that said, “Free Hong Kong, God Bless America, Back the Blue, or Support Our Troops.” When Hawley’s staff e-mailed the release, members of the media were copied on the e-mail, one of whom was ESPN’s “Senior NBA Insider” Adrian Wojnarowski, who responded to Hawley’s e-mail with “#uck You”. His e-mail did not include the #.

How in the world is that acceptable from anyone, let alone a journalist? How in the world can ESPN still retain a journalist who responds in that manner? Should we just give up on our media and assume it is nothing more than a mouth piece for the radical left? At every level, the media is a total clown show. — Joe M.

Two points, Joe. First: Wojnarowski apologized just hours later with this public statement: “I was disrespectful and I made a regrettable mistake. I’m sorry for the way I handled myself and I am reaching out immediately to Senator Hawley to apologize directly. I also need to apologize to my ESPN colleagues because I know my actions were unacceptable and should not reflect on any of them.”

ESPN suspended him without pay.

Second, his firsts reaction tells me all I need to know. The apology is BS as far as I’m concerned. It’s not just CNN, MSNBC, and big newspapers that have become mouthpieces for the hard left. Sports “journalism” is guilty too.

So I see where the Governor of Minnesota requested funds from the Federal Government to assist in rebuilding the “war-torn” city of Minneapolis. Apparently he was turned down, as he should have been IMO. I have a suggestion, why doesn’t he reach out to the Hollywood types who had no problem donating a lot of money to a fund to be used to bail out those responsible for the burning and the looting? Maybe they’ll fire up a gofundme account. While he’s at it, reach out to the Biden campaign, it too donated money to a bail fund. The chutzpah of this guy. — John M.

John, I’m not adding a word to what you’ve written.  I totally agree!

This excerpt is from the July 9th NYT Coronavirus Briefing, regarding a ranking system for the hopefully soon potential release of a vaccine:

“But the most contentious debate has been over whether to put Black and Latino people — who have disproportionately fallen victim to Covid-19 — ahead of others in the population [to be first in line to receive the vaccine]. The idea was supported by many of the health experts, who viewed it as medically sound and an act of racial justice. But others worried it could create a negative impression of the vaccine for some Americans.”

So are we at the point now where The CDC & the media believes that the virus unfairly attacks minorities because of their skin color and not by their inability to remain virus diligent? — ScottyG

Everything these days is about race. To be fair, some would argue that people of color are not coming down with the virus in disproportionate numbers because they’re not “virus diligent” but rather because they suffer from underlying medical conditions that make them more vulnerable. But it would be a bad idea to put people in the front of the line because of their skin color. It would just add to the already existing tensions surrounding race in this country.

I disagree with your conclusion [in Monday’s column] that Donald Trump is in trouble. To quote the Bard “What’s past is prologue”. Since 1900, with only two exceptions, every incumbent running in a two person race has been re-elected. The exceptions were of course Herbert Hoover in 1932 to FDR and Jimmy Carter in 1980 to Ronald Reagan. In both cases, economic forces were the deciding factor in their loss. Even given the current plague, the one thing Donald Trump is good at is managing the economy. He will have a growing economy and increased jobs by October. He will be re-elected by a large margin. — James V.

You may be right, James … but unlike just about any president who came before him, Donald Trump is widely disliked by just about every demographic group. And even the ones who still support him, like white evangelical Christians, don’t back him to the extent they did in 2016. And his noxious personality might make the difference this time around. In any event, I’m amused by your absolute certainty. No doubts for you, James. But if he loses — again, I say “IF” he loses — his most passionate supporters, the ones who never held him accountable for his dishonesty and his nastiness, will have contributed to his defeat. Donald Trump needs his friends to say, “Enough.”  They never do. So if he loses, it won’t be the “fake news” media that’s to blame. It’ll be Donald J. Trump himself — and his friends who will tolerate just about anything.

Yes, you have said numerous times you won’t write another book. But…you are faced with the biggest “Bias” story of this century on the reporting of COVID-19 (from both sides). How do you submit to this position from your loyal readers? — Tim H.

No more books. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But thanks for asking, Tim.

In the wake of the Bari Weiss resignation this week (not to mention the scores of other similar events occurring weekly if not daily), it seems to me that the lines have been drawn as to the stakes presented for this year’s elections . There are millions of people who do not like Trump the man but who fear what will happen if the Democrats get complete power (their signals as to what they would do with such power seems very clear). Your faithful readers like me know exactly where you stand as to the character traits of Trump (or lack thereof). The question that is begged is whether Trump’s character failings are being trumped (pun intended) by the dangers posed by those who despise this country and wish to fundamentally change America forever. Put another way, is sitting on the sidelines come November a viable option this time around? One last thought: buy the beans (Goya) and sell the Times. — Michael F.

I’m with you, Michael, on “buy the beans (Goya) and sell the Times. Nicely put.

As for the rest:  I understand your point. My friends hit me with that every day. I do not want the Democrats to win. I don’t think Joe Biden will be a moderate for long if he wins. I believe he’ll continue to be pulled to the left. So, you’re probably saying, “Hold your nose, Bernie and vote for Trump.” I want Republicans to win. But Donald Trump will have to do it without me.

The University of Texas announced this week that it was renaming its field from that of a large benefactor (Joe Jamail) to two African-American players and Heisman Trophy winners (Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams). I’m a classic capitalist, but I always cringed whenever the rich guys could just come in and buy their way onto buildings and sports fields/arenas. I thought the baseball field in Atlanta should have been named after Hank Aaron rather than stroke the enormous ego of Ted Turner in calling it Turner Field. I also hate these generic corporate names attached to fields of play. This begat the ridiculous display of a few years ago when the NBA Finals rotated between American Airlines Arena (Dallas Mavericks) and American Airlines Center (Miami Heat). If there’s one good thing coming out of these social changes, maybe it’s a return to honoring individuals who are tied to fans and their communities. What are your thoughts? — Steve R.

I haven’t given it much thought, Steve, but you make sense. However … Boone Pickens, the late Texas oilman gave about $500 million to his alma mater, Oklahoma State University. Guess what the name of the football field is. Can you blame the folks at OSU?

We have been hearing about infrastructure spending by our politicians now since 2008 and the great recession. Now both Biden and Trump are beating this same drum. It seems to me that when we talk about infrastructure, the predominant ownership of the assets is either at the state and local level or in private hands in the case of the electrical grid. The federal highway system, the nation’s air control system, and selective dams and bridges being the exception. It seems to me that all of this talk about Federal intervention has just provided an excuse for the responsible parties to postpone necessary improvements waiting for the taxpayers to foot the bill for their crumbling assets. With the ridiculously low-interest rates evident over the past decade this seems malfeasant for those in charge. What is your take on this? — Douglas C.

Any time a local politician can lay off his expenses on the federal government … he or she will do just that. But the reason both parties love infrastructure is because they can claim credit for creating JOBS. The idea that it’s any president’s responsibility for a pothole on my street is ridiculous. But the reality is in an election year Dems and the GOP will talk a good game about infrastructure — even if it’s just talk.

The woke scolds now want to cancel the hit musical “Hamilton” because it glorifies a racist slave owner. The creator of this extravaganza has actually apologized to the woke crowd for not being “woke enough” and he wants to do better. I take great schadenfreude in the fact that during the curtain call, the entire cast and crew of the show felt the need to lecture the Pence family for being politically incorrect (that is, Conservative Christians), and now the creator and star Lin-Manuel Garcia and his cast now find THEMSELVES on the receiving end of the woke scolds. Nonetheless I fear that more people (whether I agree with their political positions or not) will be shut down, and the First Amendment will go by the wayside.

What is your feelings about what is happening to Hamilton? Do ya think the woke scolds would approve of Lin-Manuel Garcia producing an all black cast in a musical inspired by the life of Jeffrey Dahmer? Your thoughts are always appreciated. — “Jeffrey Dahmer—The Musical!” Regards, From The Emperor

I don’t know if you know this, Emperor. But at Jeffrey Dahmer’s trial, there was an unexpected commotion involving some of the people watching the trial from the gallery. The judge banged his gavel and shouted, “Order.” Dahmer stood up and said, “I’ll have juror number 7.”

As for Hamilton:  This is what happens in revolutions.  The purists take over — and then nobody’s safe, not even liberal icons like Mr. Garcia.

I live in a relatively small town where the local newspaper is now nearly all just local news. Because of that I want to subscribe to a newspaper online that will give me relatively unbiased information. After reading your article about Bari Weiss today I read her resignation letter. And I canceled my New York Times online subscription. I knew they were biased but felt I could still get a fair amount of factual news from them. Now I don’t like what they did , I don’t trust them and don’t want to support them financially. Can you recommend another online news source? — Beth R.

First, good for you Beth. It’s the Times’ loss, not yours. I checked around and my good friend John Daly tells me he is very happy with The Dispatch (a subscription website, owned in part by Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg). “Their daily reporting (sent to members every morning via email) is very strong, thorough, and fair. Great commentary too,” he says. Good luck!

There were times in 2015 and 2016 when I was convinced that Trump was trying to sabotage his own campaign to assure that, after generating the publicity he definitely wanted from running and staying in the race so long, he wouldn’t actually become president and have to do the job. I’m believing that again now, with the latest evidence being his commutation of the thoroughly corrupt and fairly convicted (even A.G. Barr said so) Roger Stone. What do you think the probability is that I’m right? — Ben G.

I’ve thought the same thing, Ben. I even thought about writing a column that begins: Sometimes I think Donald Trump wants to lose in November.

If that’s not it, he’s just the dumbest guy to ever set foot in the Oval Office. No one has ever put his foot in his mouth, has stepped on his own good news, more than this man.

Bernie, I have a different take on the upcoming election. President Trump, is doing (and has done) a lot of strange things if we assume he is trying to get reelected. I don’t really think he cares. It’s not fun anymore, with “Tell All” books, scores of former White House associates’ candidly dumping on him, on and on. He loves his base. Loves ’em. Binden is elected. Trump starts up cable “Trump TV”, and slashes and burns to the sea, every day, 24/7. Doesn’t get better than that, for ‘Disinfectant Donny”. I kinda agree with him. His highest, best, and fun use of his talents … many, people have said; many many people — Aloha, Mike S.

Hey Mike … I think “Trump TV” is what he had in mind from the jump. He’d run for president, lose, then start a network featuring the narcissist himself. And if he loses in November, there’s an excellent chance that he’ll do just that.  Here’s the question that lingers: What will become of Fox? Will he bring the bootlickers over to Trump TV? If he does, Fox is in big trouble. It might be smart for Fox to offer him almost anything he wants. Just when you think it can’t get any crazier, it gets crazier.  Aloha, Mike.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Bolton, Durkin, My Favorite Interviews, and more! (6/19) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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As a Trump supporter I am concerned about some of his tweets. I hope he stays out of the Seattle protests. I think he should let Governor Inslee and Mayor Durkin stew in their own leftist juices. What I fear is that if he sends in the military, the protesters will provoke a shooting and we could have another Kent State situation. What do you think? — Vic P.

I don’t believe he’ll send in the military. He talks about it … he’d like to do it … but he won’t. As much as sensible Americans hate what they’re seeing in Seattle, it would be a bad political move for the president.

CNN held a “Town Hall” Sunday evening with the four black female mayors of Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago & D.C.. conducted by a black female moderator. I tuned in to try and gain some better understanding of the issues and their responses to current events. Honestly, it turned into a one-hour pat-each-other-on-the back session, void of tough questions on why these mayors have made the decisions they have. No question on why they initially allowed violent protesting and looting. No questions on what they are doing about true black male crime statistics especially to the Chicago Mayor… No hard questions on the hypocrisy of allowing mass gatherings during their own Covid restrictions. I tried, but I was let down again trying to get a fair perspective. So what’s a caring citizen to do, and where do they go to maintain a balanced perspective? — ScottyG

It was on CNN, right? And you’re surprised that it was a love fest? CNN lost its way a long time ago. As to where to go to maintain a balanced perspective: Not cable TV in prime time. I’m anxiously waiting to see if Fox let’s John Bolton on to talk about his book. I bring that up because CNN doesn’t have a monopoly on agenda driven news coverage. I used to write about media bias. It’s gone way beyond that. To not ask the questions of those mayors that you posed, Scotty, is an absolute disgrace, which has become par for the course at CNN.

I’ve been reading up on “White Privilege”, which I guess has been preached as dogma on college campuses for quite awhile. “Critical race theory” has me pegged as racist because of my original sin of being born with my dermatologic affliction of skin color consistent with my Caucasian ethnicity. It doesn’t matter, it seems, what I’ve done or said or thought about anybody in my life. And if I should protest that I have never uttered the N word my entire life, loath those that do, do not socialize with or work with those that do, have worked and socialized with black americans my entire life, and am NOT a racist, that apparently just proves that I’m a racist.

It reminds me of the old test for being a witch……recant being a witch and confess or we will dunk you until you drown, in which case that proves you were a witch. BRAVE NEW WORLD, indeed, where the woke masters have no tolerance for counter-revolutionaries or those who aren’t sufficiently educated as to their abject immorality and depravity of thought; they must shut up or recast their thought patterns in the new language of truth. I am angry and sick at heart for what I fear my grandson, who is 3, faces when he enters the education propaganda mill in another few years. Does he come home and tell me that he feels sad because his skin is white and he was born a racist? Not to mention all the other thought-crimes that he can be guilty of?  — John F.

George Orwell wrote about this kind of double-speak nonsense. We’re living it. I’ve often wondered how the son or daughter of a white anglo-saxon coal miner in West Virginia has white privilege. The progressives are taking over the culture. And name-calling is just the beginning.

Bernie, I am assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that in various parts of America people on the street are being approached and asked/told that they need to take a knee to show/prove that they are on board with Black Lives Matter. Do you have any advice as to how someone who does not support the defunding of police or does not view America as systemically racist should respond? On a related note, can you imagine NYC ever getting back to “normal” in terms of one’s ability to walk in Times Square or elsewhere without the risk of being “confronted?” Obviously the point re NYC can be equally applied to many other large cities across the country begging the question how all of this will impact tourism by those who do not support some or all of the leftist platform? — Michael F.

How to respond? Don’t get into a discussion with the mob because it’s a losing proposition. But even more important, don’t give in to the mob. Don’t say things you don’t believe just to make some kind of peace. As for New York: Things can change if New Yorkers elect someone like the city’s former mayor Rudy Giuliani. He cleaned things up — and it can happen again. But not with a progressive mayor. New Yorkers elected Bill de Blasio. Let them figure out their next move.

I’m fearful of losing my country to the violent anarchists, not because they are brilliant, but because those in corporate America, academia, and politics are actually caving in to the demands of the woke cry bullies! Since they’re tearing down statues and demanding buildings be renamed, I suggest that the Dems dismantle anything connected to FDR since he forced Japanese Americans into internment camps. Next let’s tear down statues of MLK Jr. and Malcolm X since both of them belonged to religions that condemned homosexuality as sinful and immoral. While we’re at it, let’s condemn Barack Obama because his wife Michelle is friends with that war criminal George W. Bush. What do you think would happen if someone echoed my suggestions to the anarchists? I’m being snarky, but I’m sure you get my point.

One more question: if someone as simple as me can easily see what submission to the anarchists will lead to, then why can’t the enablers like the liberal Democrats & professors & corporate heads see that their own heads are on the chopping block? — “Tear down the Sacco & Vanzetti Statue!” Regards, from the Emperor

Actually, Emp, your suggestion to tear down statues that honor liberals and progressives, may be snarky but it’s really a good one. To be clear, I don’t want to see those statues torn down but I do want to see someone make the case that you just made. If I’m the one who does that you’ll know where I got the idea. Good writers borrow. Great writers steal.

The liberals enablers of the authoritarian left go along with the anti free speech movement because they don’t believe that submission to the mob will ever affect them. More proof that they may have high IQs but are both pathetically delusional and at times, not too smart.

Dear Bernie, Recently many workplaces have had moments of silence, interfaith services and kneel-ins to recognize the murder of George Floyd and others by police. Is this appropriate for the workplace or is this something that is best left to off-work hours? — Peter

If management at a private company wants to give employees the opportunity to take part in the kind of demonstrations you outline they have the right to do it. As for your question about its appropriateness: I’m okay with it Peter as long as attendance is not mandatory. Reasonable people may disagree on whether such demonstrations are best left to off-hours work. But my concern is that those who don’t want to take part may incur some form of punishment — even if it’s not immediately obvious. They may also be ostracized by fellow employees. As long as there are no repercussions meted out to those who refrain from kneeling, etc … it’s something I could put up with, even if I’m not wholeheartedly for it.

If someone believes that America was conceived in sin, has been rotten to the core from its inception, is unwilling to support free speech for those who civilly and honestly disagree with their viewpoints, and is willing to excuse or justify rioting and violence, can they simultaneously claim to be a proud American who loves their country? I believes this goes to the core of the issue for those who beat the “systemic” racism drum. — Michael

I don’t think they’d say they love this country. They might love an America where there is absolutely no racism, no pollution, to poverty, no income inequality, etc … but they don’t love the America we live in today. And as I say, Michael, I don’t think they’d be ashamed to admit that.

There’s lots of irony/hypocrisy in watching liberals swoon over John Bolton, after vilifying him for years, because he’s now dishing on Trump. At the same time, Politico’s Tim Alberta (who’s no liberal) made this valid point on Twitter: “[Bolton] headlined every right-wing gathering; appeared on every Fox News show; wrote op-eds in conservative publications; raised millions for GOP candidates; was exalted as a voice of integrity, authority, honesty. And now he is the enemy—because he spoke ill of the dear leader.”

Regarding what Bolton wrote: while his accounts of Trump are damning, they’re unfortunately not surprising nor uncharacteristic of what know of Trump, or what we’ve heard him say with our own ears. Even giving Xi Jinping a verbal blessing to build concentration camps (which is truly sick) is consistent with other instances of him condoning the horrific behavior of authoritarian regimes.

Some on the left are criticizing Bolton for not speaking up during Trump’s impeachment, but do you think Bolton’s testimony would have compelled even one other GOP Senator to vote to convict? I don’t. I’m not sure anything would have. — Jen R.

I’m with you, Jen, 100 percent. Expect no consistency on political matters from either side. They throw their so-called values over the side to either excuse anything and everything Donald Trump does — or to condemn him no matter what. I find both sides lacking in anything resembling integrity. In the case of Bolton on Trump: You’re right. Nothing that’s come out so far is surprising. If he had written that Donald Trump offered to pay some dictator to endorse him, I wouldn’t be surprised. And if Bolton had spoken up earlier, nothing would have changed. Nothing. We’re on the same wave length Jen.

Which person was your most favorite interview (I know that’s probably a tough question)? — Ben G.

I know you asked for one favorite, but like potato chips, I can’t have just one. So here it goes, Ben:

I like Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal a lot. Both are honest and don’t beat around the bush. You ask them a question, you get a straight answer. That’s not always the case.

I liked my college classmate Jim Valvano, who I interviewed when he was coaching basketball at North Carolina State. Off camera I told him about the time I hit the rim with my knuckle while grabbing a rebound during a pickup basketball game at Rutgers — a game he was watching from a few feet away. Let’s just say his recollection was different from mine. More precisely, he had absolutely no recollection of my jumping ability. And after I finished telling him the story, he told me I was full of you know what.

I also interviewed several people with serious physical disabilities. They didn’t see themselves as victims.  Both went on to achieve great things. They were Kyle Maynard and Jen Brinker. You can look them up.

And one more: Ansar Burney, a human rights activist who helped free thousands of young boys from slavery in the United Arab Emirates. They had been brought in from very poor countries and forced to become camel jockeys, a very dangerous business. If a boy died because he fell off the camel and was crushed under its hooves, he was shipped home in a box. If you have HBO, you might want to go to On Demand and find the story.

I’m sure I’m leaving a few more out. Apologies.

So, an ANTIFA like group [maybe all ANTIFA] has taken over six city block’s in downtown Seattle, and roused the cops out of the precinct that was situated within that six block area. What I find really ironic is that they have set up borders and have armed guards patrolling them. Anyone wanting to enter must be approved before they are allowed to do so. Gee, where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, at our southern border which the Left has been fighting against for years. They have a large list of demands too numerous to list here, one involves abolishing the police department. Continuing, the Governor was asked what he thought of a group taking control of part of the city and he acted like he had never heard about it. The Mayor on the other hand, when asked by Chris Cuomo at CNN what she thought about it and how long she thought it might last, replied “Maybe it will be a summer of love.” Even Cuomo had to look at her like “Have you got all your marbles, lady?” Initially, I was feeling badly for the citizens of Seattle but hey, you do reap what you sow. They put these uber liberal clowns in place. BTW, this stopped being about George Floyd a week ago, this is the anarchy many have predicted would come sooner or later from the uber radicals in this country that do want to make it over in their likeness. So how do we fight it when the local leaders are OK with it? — John M.

First, John, your analysis is spot on. If the mayor won’t fight it and the governor won’t fight it … let’s see how far the anarchists go before the liberals who pay taxes in that liberal city and state demand an end to it. What if six blocks is just the beginning? At some point, the political cowards will either show backbone and send in the cops, or the anarchists will be in charge. It can go either way, John. Really!  Check out my Off the Cuff this week on this subject.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Trump vs. Scarborough & Twitter, Fauci, Imus, and more! (5/29) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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A few Memorial Day thoughts: I read that less than half of Americans even know that Memorial Day is a day to honor and remember those who gave their lives for America. The NYT chose that day this year to focus on white supremacy with respect to the military. Around the same time, China was taking steps to put a choke-hold on Hong Kong by criminalizing disrespect for the Chinese National Anthem (in contrast to the US where flag burning is constitutionally protected), and the media was pretty much silent while it continued to carry China’s water on various issues. I started to think about just how far we as a country have fallen in terms of patriotism, love of country and respect for our armed forces and the brave men and women who serve and have served (not all of us but a substantial number who would like to see our military spending sliced). And I started to wonder what all this portends as many of our leaders (together with academia, the entertainment industry and of course the MSM) denigrate on an ongoing basis America, the Constitution, our history and our values. — Michael F.

As the country (continues) to move leftward, we’ll see more of what you’re describing, Michael. I’m not saying liberals hate America. But I don’t think they are as traditional in these matters as conservatives. There may be a swing back to the way things used to be regarding old-fashioned patriotism. But I don’t see it coming anytime soon.

Bernie, how would you grade Dr. Fauci’s response to COVID-19? Some of the pundits have faulted him for changing his position too often or not clearly communicating his position when asked. I want to know your no nonsense assessment. — Joe M.

I’m not troubled, Joe, when Dr. Fauci (or anybody else) changes his position. Facts change. Opinions change. Anything said at the outset of the virus, means little — because we knew little. That said, I trust Fauci. If I had to pick someone who’s advice I would take, he’d be high on my list. Guess who would be at the bottom of that list. Initials: DJT.

Watching the Golf Match Today, I was thinking about your interview with John Urschel. The football interview where “A Math Seminar Broke Out”. And I was also thinking about Colin Kaepernick. Certainly there are issues in sports worthy of press such as the treatment of the horses in horse racing and camel Jockeys. But overall I believe that American Professional Sports do a pretty good job of standards as do the athletes themselves. Maybe I’m wrong but even with Kaepernick I hear he’s a good guy. The Match raised millions and I know through out the country many athletes raise money and donate as well. And personally, I hear little negative. Just looking to get your opinion overall of professional sport standards. — Tim H.

Like life outside the world of sports, there are good people and not-so-good people. Good deeds and bad deeds. We in the press are drawn to bad events — like a football player whose gun accidentally goes off at a nightclub. Or athletes involved in domestic abuse cases. For good or bad, that’s the nature of news. But there’s a lot of good deeds in the world of sports. A lot of charity and the like. But just as we don’t cover the bank that did NOT get robbed or the plane that landed safely, we tend to cover the dark side. But, as I say, Tim … there’s plenty that’s good.

Mr. G, Are we at the time in place now where presidents’ words don’t matter? Clinton wagged his finger at us and lied, and tried to change what “is” means; Bush claimed WMD’s and we still have troops getting killed for who knows what; Obama said “keep your doctor and enjoy lower healthcare costs’. Now Trump goes off the Pinocchio rails almost daily. They ALL lie and keep their jobs, so what’s the use in crying? Do we just continue to live with it? Might you have a solution? I hope so… — ScottyG

First, a quick correction: Bush got it wrong, but he didn’t lie. He based his decision on faulty intel. Obama may not have lied either. He may have been incompetent and didn’t know what was in his signature piece of legislation. Or, as you say Scotty, he may have lied.

With that out of the way, what’s my solution: Try to go about your business so that the president, whoever he or she is, doesn’t play too big a role in your life. And lower your expectations. There aren’t a lot of Washingtons or Lincolns. And finally: If we chose better presidents you wouldn’t need to ask your question.

Bernie, as of the time I’m writing this (to get my question in before your deadline), Trump has yet to announce the details of his “executive order” to, in some fashion, “strongly regulate” Twitter. He of course got mad after Twitter flagged one of his tweets as factually incorrect (a new feature). Regardless of Trump’s intent, and whether or not this new fact-check feature is a good idea, Twitter is a private company and has a constitutional right to make its own rules of use. Trump has no authority over how they manage their content and users (whether it be deleting certain posts, banning members, or adding “fact checks” to some tweets). What are your thoughts on what looks like a government power-grab, and are you surprised that the GOP (the party that’s traditionally stood for less intrusion in businesses by the government) seems to be going along with it? — Ben G.

I’m pretty much with you but let’s remember that social media sites have been granted — by the U.S. government — certain privileges. The site isn’t responsible, for instance, for anything said on the site. You can sue someone who posts libelous material about you — but you can’t successfully sue the site (because the site owner can’t know everything posted, especially when the site has millions or billions of participants like Twitter and Facebook).

So, are the people who run Facebook and Twitter and Google publishers who can edit comments and posts and say what’s true and what isn’t — or are they merely facilitators who open their sites to a free and open discussion without interference?

If Twitter chooses to call out the president’s tweets for dishonesty, then Twitter appears to be a publisher. And as such, they can be sued.

So it’s complicated. But do we really think Twitter would flag President Obama’s false statement about keeping your doctor? The big sites are heavily influenced by liberal thinking so conservatives have a right to be annoyed. Still, you raise a strong point, Ben. And there’s a good chance the matter will end up in the courts.

Even after Lori Klausutis’s widower wrote a letter describing the pain Trump is causing his family by continuing to push the baseless conspiracy theory that his wife was having an affair with, and was murdered by, Joe Scarborough, Trump (who says he read the letter) hasn’t relented. He continues to call for an investigation into Scarborough, and he even claimed that the Klausutis family wants to “get to the bottom” of what happened (exactly the opposite of what the widower — who has known what happened since 2001 — wrote). From what I’ve seen, no prominent Christian leader has condemned Trump for what he’s doing. If they can’t speak up on presidential behavior as over-the-top immoral as this, shouldn’t they just shut up on all political matters from here on out? — Bailey T.

An emphatic YES, Bailey, on whether Christian leaders should shut up on all political matters. I’ll go further. I don’t want to hear them lecture us on moral matters when they go deaf, dumb and blind regarding the president’s despicable tweets about Scarborough. Please see the column that will go up on my website Monday morning.

Have you seen the old video of Joe Scarborough on Don Imus’s show, where Imus — in the last few seconds of the segment — made some joke about Scarborough sleeping with and killing an “intern” (which I guess was a reference to Lori Klausutis, though she wasn’t an intern). Scarborough kind of went along with the joke (which was in poor taste). Some of those defending our president’s conspiracy theory are claiming this to be some kind of “ah ha” moment that implicates Scarborough. But as someone who was on his show often, Bernie, didn’t Imus do this kind of thing a lot? He was kind of a shock jock, like Howard Stern, right? I’m not sure how Scarborough should have reacted with only a few seconds remaining in such an interview. Your thoughts? — Samuel M.

Yes, Imus would do something like that … and when you’re on live radio or TV sometimes you just go along. As for those Trump supporters using this to say the president is on to something … Bull Crap!

Read my column coming out on Monday. What Donald Trump has done to Scarborough (who, for what it’s worth, I do not like) was despicable. And those who find excuses to support the president would also support him if he really did shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue.

I agree that Pelosi and the Dems want to delay the recovery of the economy in order to win the election. I further agree that Trump sabotages himself regularly by making dumb ass comments on Twitter and getting into petty adolescent battles by attacking people like Jeff Sessions & even worse Joe Scarborough (really—-WTF!?). What I don’t get is why Trump can’t figure out that he plays right into his enemies’ plans by engaging in these petty quarrels since it’s easy to see that this can come back and kick him in the rear! Same goes for Pelosi and the Dems—how can THEY not see that anyone with a reasonable disposition can easily see that they want the American economy to crash and burn for their own selfish purposes and that buying into “I can make more money sitting at home doing nothing than I can by actually working” is ultimately a deal with the devil that will cause more problems in the end than it will actually cure? We’ve both seen any number of movies about how it appears that mobsters are going to help you out but in the end all they really want is to own you. It’s obvious to you and me; why do you think it’s not obvious to them? — Petty & Nefarious Regards From The Emperor

Emperor: Let’s start with the president. You ask why he can’t figure out that he’s playing into the hands of his enemies. That’s easy: He doesn’t THINK … he just impulsively acts.  As long as his most loyal supports applaud his every move, he’ll continue to hurt himself. Check out my column that will go up on Monday. And pay special attention to the last paragraph.

As for the Dems:  I’m not sure most Americans have concluded that they want to see the economy crash and burn. Some will see it that way. But others I think will say the Dems are helping us by giving us “free” money.

Most people, Your Royalty, aren’t news junkies. If they’re getting a government check, they’re happier than if they’re not. They don’t follow the details the way you or I do. (Sometimes I think they’re better off not paying attention. Paying attention gives me a headache.)

Polling has typically been characterized by percentages based upon political party allegiance with a minority sampling of theoretical independent voters. In this new age of covid-19 virus, do you think that sampling based on the economic impact of the virus might provide more insightful data? Poll responders that have not had their income effected can afford to support political ideologies while those that have been severely impacted economically by the virus, especially those that are either small business owners or those employed by small business owners (a very significant portion of our population and economy), may be far less loyal to a party and more attuned to economic messaging. Your analysis of this observation would be thoroughly appreciated. Thank you. — Douglas C.

You raise an interesting point, but I think it would take someone named Gallup to give you an answer. That said, I’m going to give it a shot, Douglas.

Your premise, as I understand it, is a reasonable one:  People vote their pocketbooks, their financial well being. So how the virus affected them would be a better gauge than simply their party affiliation. Okay. But let’s remember that the economy was strong when Clinton left office yet voters chose W (barely) in the next election. And the economy was weak in 2012 yet Obama beat a successful businessman, Mitt Romney.

My point is that many things come into play when voters decide who they want to be president. And so I’m not sure if the polling results would be any different if they did it your way instead of the traditional way.

But I want to emphasize this question is way too complicated for someone like me to answer with any confidence.

 


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