Bernie’s Q&A: Biden, Bobulinski, Taylor, the Girl Scouts, and more! (10/30) — 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):


As election day nears, I’m asked by those who know I’m a Trump guy, “What will you do when Biden wins?”

Pretty cocky bunch aren’t they? We’ll see if it’s well founded. Before I share what I’ll do, I share what I won’t be doing: I won’t record a video and distribute it on social media of me crying and screaming like a child, “He’s not my President!!!!!,” or worse, I won’t go out and smash the car of a Biden voter with a baseball bat. I won’t throw a brick through the window of a home owned by a Biden voter. I won’t spit on, or punch anyone wearing Biden gear. I won’t grab a bunch of friends and go lay down in some intersection to call attention to our disapproval. I WILL be extremely disappointed, but will get on with my life. The sun will come up the next day. I will hope that Biden is able to complete his full term because the thought of having the most far left, liberal Senator in Congress, back-dooring into the Oval Office is deeply concerning. — John M.

I like you, John. And I wish there were more out there like you.

I keep hearing about how divisive President Trump is. Many on the left claim to miss the dignity that was brought to the White House by past Republicans like Ronald Reagan (whom the left labeled a congenial idiot and a war mongering cowboy who was ready to start World War III with the Soviet Union), Bush 41 (whom the left gave the slogan “Bush & Noriega: A Crack Team!”) and George W. Bush (whom they often said was “the real butcher of Baghdad” “the world’s number 1 terrorist” and the ever popular “Bush is Hitler.” ).

So I ask, what if Trump were not the president, and instead we had Romney (who Biden warned us about saying that he wanted to bring back Jim Crow and “put y’all back in chains” and never paid his taxes and was a cruel homophobe). Or Sarah Palin (whom the left claimed was so stupid that she said that she could see Russia from her back yard), or Chris Christie (who extorted his political enemies by shutting down a bridge). Yes, the left seems to now love Reagan & Bush 41 & 43 because they tell us how awful & divisive Trump is. Do you think the left would be any kinder to the people I mentioned above than they are to Trump since they say he is so divisive?

Frankly I think that left wing divisiveness is what got us Trump! Do you think if there’s a Republican President in 2032 that the left will claim is so horrible that they will claim that “Remember when Republicans used to at least be decent and dignified like Donald Trump was” by that time? Your thoughts please. — “Bizarro World” Regards From The Emperor

Very solid analysis, Emperor. Really good. Liberals love conservatives — like Reagan and even Goldwater — only when they’re dead or can be compared to whoever the current GOP president is in the White House. BUT … they will not look back on Trump the way they looked back on the others. No way, Jose.

[Regarding your Monday column], the Hunter Biden deal was a rookie mistake by Joe Biden. Never should have happened. Never. It does, however, pale in comparison to the scores of illegal manipulations and crimes Trump has committed. How many times has Trump lied, Bernie? How many times? Me thinks you are now bending over backward to be viewed as objective. You should level with the folks … — Mike S.

Rookie mistake by Joe Biden?  First time I ever heard someone who’s been in the league for 47 years called a rookie.

Yes, Trump is a chronic liar, Mike, and I’ve said as much countless times. Does that mean I can’t also criticize the media for ignoring a legitimate news story? Life is complex. One can despise Trump and still hope he wins — as I do. And one can call out Trump and also call out his critics when they’re unfair. That is leveling with the folks, Mike.

[Regarding your Monday column], don’t you think this should at least be a verified story, and about JOE Biden? Not Hunter? — Daniel M.

No. I think we have an obligation to point out that there’s no evidence that Joe got any money to peddle influence — or got any money at all. But we need to report that there seems to be evidence that Hunter was using the family name to get rich … and that his father either knew it and did nothing … or knew about it and cashed in, directly or indirectly through his son’s business. Listen to this week’s Off the Cuff about the disgraceful reasoning by NPR for not covering the story.

It’s been almost 20 years since Bias was published. What’s hitting me most obviously now is that young people, say 30 and under, have all grown up with never knowing a truly fair press and their lives dominated by information via cell phone and very liberal swaying educators. Another generation of this and we will not have the parenting offset to provide kids with a balanced compass. So then will the Grand-Parents have any shot at all at trying to turn this lopsided ship around? Or should all us elders just run and hide to the beaches & mountains and let these crazy kids just worry about it? Oh and…, You wanna go fishin’ next Wednesday? — ScottyG

You raise a very important point. Just in the world of journalism, the barely post-teenage gang in the newsroom is often calling the shots. They did at the NY Times and got the opinion page editor fired for daring to run an op-ed by a U.S. senator — whose opinion they didn’t like. As for the world outside journalism … good luck if anyone thinks grandparents are going to sway bratty liberal kids who think they know more than the grownups. Dropping out ain’t a bad idea. I’ll let you know about going fishing’.

Do you think the primary reason for ESPN’s decline is because it is too liberal or do you think it has more to do with the increase in competitors? Do you agree with Bill O’Reilly’s claim that ESPN is on the brink of total collapse? Here is a link to Bill’s take on this issue. — Joe M.

There are a lot of reasons that ratings drop. And you’ve named two of them. I do think that ESPN’s liberal take on racial matters has been a factor in its decline. People go to sports to escape the daily barrage of partisan politics — not to get more of it. As for Bill’s belief that the mainstream media will crash and burn after the election. I told Bill on his podcast last week that I don’t buy it. There will still be plenty of people watching CNN and MSNBC and hearing about how great Joe Biden is compared to the hated Donald Trump. And there will be plenty of people still watching Fox opinion shows where they’ll hear about what a loser Joe Biden is. Cable news has figured out how to get people to come back for more. The NY Times isn’t going to suffer either. There are still plenty of lefties out there who will read their unhinged columns about how racist America is. To think the media will be in downfall after the election, I believe, is more wishful thinking than anything else.

Let’s say that the outcome of the 2016 presidential election was reversed. Hillary wins the electoral and Trump the popular. Would liberals still be making a big stink about eliminating the electoral college? — Gerald

Not likely!

Bernie: It seems like we have gone from a biased press (most of the 20th century) to a slobbering, advocacy press (Obama), to a censoring press (anything negative on Biden). Isn’t this a greater threat to democracy than anything Trump can and has done? — Steve R.

Yes it is. And I recently wrote a column the headline of which said:  “Journalism Has Become a Threat to Democracy.” Your succinct analysis, Steve, is right on the money! A democracy must have a fair press that we can depend on for accurate and non partisan information. We don’t have it at the moment. And that’s why your conclusion — that the press is a bigger threat to democracy than anything Trump has done — is absolutely correct. I concluded this week’s Off the Cuff with this: “Donald Trump may rightly be accused of many things, but he’s not the one who’s killing journalism. Journalists are doing that all by themselves.”

Bernie, a two-fer for you:

  1. If Trump wins, and the polling turns out to be way off, what are the odds that we might (thankfully) see the polling businesses go the way of hats and horse drawn buggies?
  2. Would love to hear your thoughts on how the elite left has embraced big conglomerates in contrast to how they used to fight tooth and nail against the Wal-mart expansion (on the grounds that mom and pop businesses were being destroyed) and large manufacturers (on anti-trust grounds)? Might these two areas of interest find an intersection point in terms of the use of technology (with major assists from MSM) to help gain and keep political power?

— Michael F.

  1.  That’s what Frank Luntz thinks. Even though the 2016 national polls weren’t very far off, people think they were because they had been saying Hillary would win. But the polls tightened at the end and she did win the popular vote.  But polling will take a big hit if they get this one wrong.
  2. I don’t understand your second question. Sorry.

My concern is, given the obvious biases that are present in most of today’s reporting, will we ever get back to pure journalism … the presenting of raw facts and unbiased analysis to the public without inserting the journalist’s own message of preference? Thanks for you views, Bernie. I always find your comments refreshingly honest and unbiased, even if I don’t fully agree on occasion. — Jim S.

Anything is possible, Jim, but it’s tough to put the toothpaste back in the tube. Journalism has strayed so far from what it’s supposed to be that I’m not confident that it will shed its biases and return to reporting the news without injecting opinion. Thanks for the kind words, Jim. Much appreciated.

Bernie, did you see the interview of Bobulinski on Fox? — JM

Didn’t everybody? And he came off as credible.

If Trump loses next week, and the Trump era comes to an end in January, who do you envision becoming major players in the party for a potential presidential run in 2024? Also, do you think the Republican base will gradually go back to being receptive of principled, intellectual conservatism? Or do you think we’ll be stuck in this populist, grievance-driven, rightwing media mentality, where culture battles are vastly more important than things like limited government and personal responsibility, for the foreseeable future? — Ben G.

Regarding your first question: Mike Pence, for sure … Nikki Haley, almost for sure … Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, likely … and many others.

Your second question goes to an important point: The Republican base is broader than Donald Trump’s most passionate supporters. The larger base, I believe, will support candidates who are more traditional (and normal) than Mr. Trump. His most passionate supporters? They may not support anyone who isn’t like their savior, the current president. If that turns out to be the case, Republicans would be in trouble.

What are your thoughts on Miles Taylor still having a job with CNN after the revelation that he was the Trump administration official known as “Anonymous,” who actually lied to CNN’s Anderson Cooper (and CNN viewers) about NOT being “Anonymous” a while back? Should the network let Taylor go, or do you think it’s not that big of a deal, from a news media company perspective? — Jack S.

As long as Taylor thinks Donald Trump is deplorable, his job is probably secure at CNN. That he lied to Anderson Cooper might offend Cooper but I don’t think it would be enough to let him go … as I say, as long as he continues to bash Mr. Trump. But who knows, CNN for a change might decide it has principles and won’t tolerate someone who lied to one of its anchors.

The Girl Scouts corporate office recently caved to pressure from the progressive left to remove a tweet honoring the SCOTUS confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett (an important female historical figure). Isn’t it time for conservatives to finally stand up to Big Cookie, by boycotting Thin Mints®, Tagalongs®, Samoas®, Do-si-dos®, and Trefoils®? Or… should we simply follow your longtime, personal practice of saying “Outta my way, kid,” whenever a girl scout tries to sell you cookies in front of your local grocery store? — John D.

The Girls Scouts, like much of corporate America, has caved to the woke authoritarians. And so, the answer to your question is yes … it is time to boycott all of their cookies. You probably didn’t know this, John D (or whatever your real name is), but those cookies are part of a massive Russian disinformation campaign.

How does that work, you ask? I’m not allowed to say. And besides, it’s probably too complicated for you to grasp. As for telling Girl Scouts to get lost when they get too close to my grocery store … I’m an American patriot and those girls are part of the Russian disinformation campaign. Why wouldn’t I tell them to get “Outta my way, kid.”

I hope you don’t mind that I mention this, John D (or whatever your real name is) but I have proof — a dossier — that has definitive, confirmable data indicating that YOU, John D (or whatever your real name is) was briefly a Girl Scout yourself — in the mid 1990s. Back then, your name was Joan D. They called you Joannie. Deny it if you want to, but as I say, my information is in that dossier … and it comes straight from a very reliable source — a guy named Steele. So it must be true.

 


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: Hunter, Lincoln Project, Fauci, the other Goldberg, and more! (10/23) — 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):


Regarding your “Fair Press” column, I think most voters are at the point where they use simple reasoning of which candidate they feel is the lesser danger to their way of life. But I think there is now a chance that swing voters, fed up with what they see and read which they know to be BS, might just cast their vote as a mandate against a bias Press & social media. Could such a vote if it happens begin to start turning the Press back around to get closer to the middle? If not then, how does this issue ever turn back around? — ScottyG

If there’s a media backlash… manifested by voters choosing Trump over Biden as a protest against media corruption … will that the the press to wake up and do its proper job? I don’t think so. Too many journalists are on a mission — not only to rid the nation of Donald Trump but to “enlighten” those they see as deplorable. The cancer has spread.  I don’t see a move to media sanity anytime soon. I hope I’m wrong.

Loved your commentary on the media, Monday. My hope is that those undecideds, and those who are leaning Biden but don’t much care for him other than he’s not Trump, will look at how unfair, transparently unfair, the media, to include social media has been in it’s “coverage” of the President, and find that more repugnant and distasteful than the President himself, and vote for him in response. I’m sure my English comp prof would tear this paragraph to shreds, long-winded. In closing, heard the comments of Michigan Governor Whitmer: “If you want these lockdowns to stop and go back to normal life, vote for Biden”. So is she actually saying it’s all been a ruse? Her draconian edicts were all about making lives as miserable as possible and hoping it ends up hurting Trump at the polls? — John M.

I don’t blame you, John, for hoping that those undecided voters see how “transparently unfair” the media have been and vote for Trump. But I don’t see it. As for Governor Whitmer: She’s a politician and politicians say what they think they need to say to win … for themselves or a member of their team. That’s why she’s saying what she’s saying.

With all that has occurred the past 4 years, I am predicting that if Trump wins, a good portion of the country will go up in flames. What say you? The Oracle of Ashville! — Lee K.

Violence in the streets is more than an outside chance, I’m afraid. A landslide victory one way or the other MIGHT calm things down. Cowardice pols have allowed the mayhem to go on for too long. The rioters aren’t afraid of the authorities. A narrow victory for Donald Trump could wind up with what you say.

Hey, Bernie: What do you think of The Lincoln Project and its leaders? Have any strong opinions one way or another on Rick Wilson or the others? Also, would you characterize Lesley Stahl’s 60 Minutes interview of The Lincoln Project principals three weeks before election day as good journalism or a free infomercial for the anti-Trump campaign? Best regards. — Gary D.

Not a fan of the Lincoln Project or its leaders. Some of its leaders are Morning Joe regulars on MSNBC. That tells me all I need to know. Didn’t see Leslie Stahl’s interview with its principles, so I can’t comment. Sorry.

Bernie, I just do not understand the “never Trump” Republicans who agree with Trump on the issues but claim to be voting for Joe Biden. Is this really all because they find Trump that obnoxious? Despite Trump’s many flaws, he is still far more conservative than Bush, and far more successful at winning national elections when compared to McCain and Romney. While Bush, McCain, and Romney may look and act like what you would expect from a President, all three of them embraced liberal policies that made many Republicans pull their hair out and/or stay home on election day. So far, Trump wins elections, carries out conservative Republican policies and, unlike the other 3, actually connects with a population of Republican voters that has been laughed at and overlooked for years. Trump’s personality may rub folks the wrong way, but did Republicans already forget the last 3 guys they had as the head of their party? — Joe M.

I wrote a piece for this website that I haven’t posted yet. Here’s a sneak preview of how the column begins:

“I’ve pretty much been in lockdown at home since the virus hit and so I’ve have had plenty of time to contemplate the great mysteries of life.  Is there a God?  What was here before the universe?  Why in the world would lifelong conservatives vote for Joe Biden?”

So, I’m as puzzled as you are, Joe. However, John Daly recently wrote a column for my website, where he provides a possible explanation.

John Daly wrote this in his latest article on your website:

“When the leader of the free world — a man who carries a tremendous amount of weight with his political base — regularly disseminates misinformation about a deadly virus, stokes baseless doubt in the best tools and simple practices available to mitigate that virus, and actually facilitates additional spread of that virus by organizing big social events, those who’ve placed trust and faith in him will do the same.

This is the most consequential failure of the Trump administration, on an extraordinarily important issue that should (and would, in normal times) transcend politics. For all of Biden’s faults (and there are plenty), virtually no one believes he would be spending his time in office, during the current health crisis, pretending the virus isn’t dangerous, stoking COVID-19 conspiracy theories, ridiculing mask wearing, undermining and mocking his medical professionals and scientists, calling on states to “liberate,” and holding huge in-person events in his honor.”

Do you think that a lot of Americans see this issue as THE ONLY (or at least most important, transcending) issue for them in this election? We can argue about ideology and legislative policies all day long, but we’re are 9 MONTHS into COVID-19 (which has changed everyone’s everyday lives), and Trump is too often making it even harder for regular people to get through this safely and knowledgeably. — Ben G.

For some, COVID-19 is in fact the most important issue. For others, it’s the economy. But when so many voters are concerned about the virus — and how the president is handling the crisis — attacking Dr Fauci doesn’t strike me as a smart move. More Americans trust Fauci, after all, than trust Trump. But Donald is who he is and even saying things that make it harder for him to win won’t stop him from saying those things.

Hi. I know that conservatives, or at least those who watch a lot of Fox, etc, are pretty invested in the Hunter Biden stuff. But do you think the story resonates with anyone else, especially swing voters? I haven’t seen any indicators of that. I know that part of it is because the mainstream media hasn’t done much reporting on it. But I get the sense the regular voters don’t really care much about a candidates’ relatives, no matter how screwed or unethical up they are. — Byron M.

You raise an important point, Byron. First … the pay for play story, if true, is both legitimate and serious. But you’re asking whether it resonates. Let me share with you the thoughts of a prominent GOP pollster, Frank Luntz, who said this:

“Nobody cares about Hunter Biden … why is [Trump] spending all his time on him?” Luntz asked. “Hunter Biden does not help put food on the table. Hunter Biden does not help anyone get a job. Hunter Biden does not provide health care or solve COVID. And Donald Trump spends all of his time focused on that and nobody cares.”

Have you ever been on a television program, radio show, or podcast (presumably to talk about politics), where afterwards the host or producers told you that never want you back? lol. I’m just asking because these days, and with your strong opinions, I’m thinking a lot of people would be worried about someone with an independent mind offending their viewers by not being partisan enough. — Lance R.

Never happened, Lance. But note that I’m not on Fox anymore. They let my contract expire. And even though they never told me why, it’s obvious that I was too critical of President Trump. Their viewers didn’t like what I had to say. Social media lit up after my appearances — with lots of negative comments. Fox will tolerate anti Trump talk from liberals but not so much from conservatives. So in a sense, I guess I was told never to come back. Ask me if I care?

Bernie, have you ever met, or are you related to, the professional wrestler named Goldberg? I’m asking because I’ve noticed some physical similarities between you two. Also, if you were a professional wrestler, which song would you use for your entrance theme, and what would be the name of your finishing move? — John D.

The wrestler Goldberg, as you put it — his name is Bill — is my twin brother. So, duh, I guess I have met him. Are you high or what?

My entrance song would be “The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music” … and my finishing move would be the one where I shoot and wound the guy with an AK 47 — but only in Red States where that’s legal.

 


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: Trump, Biden, Pelosi, Barrett, and more! (10/16) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

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):


Nancy Pelosi says her pushing the 25th Amendment is not about Trump: “He’ll be judged by the voters, this is more about going forward and dealing with other Presidents.”

Ah ha, you mean like if Biden wins in November, and he should be deemed incapable of continuing at some point, that Kamala Harris, who was overwhelmingly rejected by voters during the Democrat Presidential debates last year, can be slipped into the Oval Office? Wouldn’t put it by them. Bernie, gonna put you on the spot if that is possible. If you knew that your vote absolutely would decide who wins the WH, Biden or Trump, would you hold your nose and vote Trump?” — John M.

Fair question, John. I’ve said (privately) before that if I thought the election in my state would be decided by one vote, then yes, I’d hold my nose and vote for the divisive, chaotic Mr. Trump — because I don’t believe we’re voting for an individual, but a team … and I don’t share the values of Biden’s team. That said, I’m betting it won’t come down to one vote … so, John, I guess you know what that means.

It seems to me that if the Democrats were as confident in sweeping victories in the upcoming election both in the House, the Senate and the White House, Nancy Pelosi would be willing to forego the stonewalling of the relief bill efforts to bail out the indebted blue states. With sweeping victories she and her cohorts will be able to enact whatever bailouts they want come January. Why punish the good American folks in need of some immediate aide now by not agreeing to a compromise? Is she not that confident in an upcoming victory or is she just plain mean and evil? Something just doesn’t add up here. — Douglas C.

I think Nancy Pelosi is politics incarnate. Every cell in her body is politics. I find her very hard to take. But whether she’s confident of a Dem victory or not, she figures if she doesn’t make a deal it’ll hurt Republicans more than Democrats. Maybe she’s right, maybe not. But rather than try to figure out what’s going on in Pelosi’s head, let’s just look at the polls. And they don’t look good for the president. I know, Trump supporters don’t believe the polls. I do, at least as of today.

As I watch the anti-racism movement (not sure what else to call it), a number of questions/observations have come to mind. Unless I am missing something, it appears that unless you “join the movement” you are automatically labelled a racist (or is it a pro-racist?). Shouldn’t someone define what makes someone a racist and how their racism is manifest and how it impacts those deemed victims of racism. It seems that when questions like this are raised, the response is we are not talking about individuals but rather the “system” and hence “systemic racism” becomes the new rallying cry, again without any definitions or proposed solutions.

Assuming Biden wins, what comes next? Reparations? If so, putting aside who gets something (money, free housing?), how long does the reparation period last? What is society supposed to look like when this period of penance ends? Will values that seem to have nothing to do with race or ethnicity, but have been labelled racist, such as hard work, personal responsibility and accountability meritocracy, etc etc , continue to be eroded if not eliminated? And if so, what is the consequence of eliminating or minimizing these values? It is very unfortunate and even scary that we may be on the cusp of our own cultural revolution with struggle sessions and most of America does not have a clue. Mao must be grinning from the after life while Orwell says “I told you so.” — Michael F.

You raise many legitimate concerns, Michael. And here’s my question: Where are the journalists to address those concerns? AWOL, that’s where. I’ve watched a lot (too much, actually) TV news and sports since I’ve been under virtual house arrest and not once have I heard anyone challenge the concept of “systemic racism.” Not once have I heard anyone bring up fatherlessness, which is what actually is systemic in black America. Fear reigns. If you challenge what passes for the conventional wisdom, as you say, you run the risk of being smeared. I’m on the verge of dropping out. No fooling.

I saw that the New York Times recently endorsed Joe Biden for president. Do you feel that these newspaper endorsements have any impact on the way anyone votes? Are they still relevant in 2020? — DeAndre

I don’t, DeAndre. The Times is read, overwhelmingly, by people who already knew they were going to vote for Biden. It makes the editorial board feel important to endorse candidates, but I don’t think it makes much difference anymore. Good question.

Bernie, I think you might be overlooking something about Trump. Yes, he has lots of bad qualities, and yes he will never changes those qualities. You are also right that Biden is more liked than Hillary. The problem with Biden is this: he is fully supported by the two most detested institutions on the planet. The mainstream media and Hollywood. I think you are underestimating how much people hate these two, especially the media, and I think a lot of people will pull the lever for Trump just so they can give the proverbial middle finger to their “friends” in the media and Hollywood. — Joe M.

First, I’m very much aware of how much a lot of Americans detest the news media and the Hollywood glitterati. But I think you’re absolutely right about how many voters will give the middle finger to those two institutions and vote for Trump. In fact, after a roundtable discussion with colleagues on Real Sports after Trump was elected, I told them that his victory, in part at least, was a shot at them, the media elite. They looked at me like I had two heads and was talking a strange language. They never learn.

A large part of our economy will return when people feel safe enough to go to public places. This can happen when rules are followed regarding masks, distancing, etc. So, sporting events can take place, like the U.S. Open, where everyone follows a strict protocol. The protocols are created by doctors. People that are in the venues where these sporting events take place must comply, they do not have a choice. And these protocols work (the US Open and NBA championships were successful). 

If we are at war, like Trump has said, with an invisible biological enemy/threat then we must follow certain rules that will help win the war, shouldn’t we follow the commands of the “generals” – the scientists and doctors, and not lay people, to be able to fight properly? So, why is wearing a mask and contact tracing fraught with political implications?

Stopping at a traffic light, not screaming “fire” in a theater, and wearing a seat belt are rules that help you or the people around you. The government has decided that these rules need to be followed. We do not invoke “individual freedom” as an excuse if we end up killing someone going through a red light. Wearing a mask protects others, and yourself somewhat. If everyone gets on board with following the rules proposed by the “medical generals”, businesses will open more quickly.

Does this logic make sense? Why can’t the White House show by example and wear the masks, socially distance, and contact trace? When everyone is on board with a few agreed upon rules, the economy will be able to open. But we need leadership to lead. Where am I wrong in this logic? — Howard N.

In my column that was posted last Monday I wrote that the president seems to think people who wear masks are blue state wimps. And like the book title, Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, he seems to think real men don’t wear masks. That’s how I see it, my friend.

You’ve stated that you despise Trump and don’t plan on voting for him, but you hope that he wins in a landslide. I get it. I really do. I too think he’s a thin skinned bombastic blowhard who should quit tweeting, shut the hell up, and run the country (and wear a damn mask!). His behavior at the first debate was embarrassing and downright pathetic, but that won’t stop me from voting for him. Here’s why:

Over the years, I’ve worked with (and FOR) a number of people that I PERSONALLY DESPISED. However, as much as I loathed some of them, there was one thing I had to keep in mind—in order to accomplish whatever my then-current goals might have been, I NEEDED those people! Whatever I personally thought about them, I had to put that aside because I needed them to get the job done and accomplish the necessary goals. When we no longer needed each other, that’s when I avoided them. We certainly didn’t hang out together after the various projects ended. They annoyed me to no end, and in all likelihood, they probably didn’t think too highly of me either. Nonetheless I also knew that there would be hell to pay if the necessary tasks to do the job weren’t completed, and those pains in the rear were the only ones available to get the job done right.

So now I ask you, whom I respect greatly even if we don’t always agree: Haven’t you ever had to work with (and for) other people that you dreaded dealing with day in and day out, but you dealt with them and continued on because you knew that the alternative was much worse? How did you handle those situations? So for the sake of discussion, how come you don’t look at Trump and support him the same way that you may have looked at and supported those painful co-workers and bosses you had to deal with over the years? Some might say that I’m rationalizing, but I say that the progressive leftists running America means that the alternative to Trump is much worse! — “Be Afraid—Be Very Afraid” Regards, From The Emperor

First, You Emperor-ness, your analogy doesn’t work. Sure I’ve worked for bosses I didn’t like. But I don’t work for Donald Trump. He works for me and you and all of us. Second, for the ten millionth time, I get it. I understand your logic. Hell, I even agree with your logic. But unless my vote will make the difference between him winning and Biden winning, I’ll sit it out. Blame the president, not me.

Bernie, how annoying is it to you (on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most annoying) that so many people are very concerned with who YOU plan to vote for next month (as if YOUR vote will somehow be the deciding one in the presidential election)? Of course it’s not just you that hears this. I see the same pressing attitude toward other well-known conservatives who aren’t afraid to criticize Trump. Do you think it’s because people need some kind of validation of their own vote, or do you think they sincerely believe this election could come down to just a handful of votes in whatever state you live in? — Ben G.

Actually it’s part (mild) annoyance — because I explained my position a gazillion times. But part of it is that I’m flattered that  intelligent folks who come to this site actually care how I’m going to vote. That said, I don’t think they need validation. They’re going to vote for the president and I’m glad they are, because I hope he wins over Biden. And, as I’ve said many times before, if my vote alone would make a difference I’d hold my nose and vote for the president. But my vote ALONE won’t. So I won’t.

Why can’t these politicians be consistent? They all had one position with Merrick Garland and now they have the exact opposite position with Amy Coney Barrett. My question: Do you feel that the Senate should vote on a Supreme Court nominee in the last year of a president’s term? — Dana

Why the inconsistency?  Because principles are dead and all that matters is raw politics.  My problem isn’t that the Senate is voting on a Supreme Court nominee in the last year of a presidential election.  I can live with that.  My problem is that the party in power will object when it suits its purpose and do the exact same thing when they’re in the driver’s seat.

We see today many many journalists, political spokespeople/communications directors and political pundits making easily fact checked misstatements and mistakes. Many of these so called professionals appear much younger and less experienced than say 20-30 years ago when our National news coverage shifted to what we have today. Do you see evidence of younger aged professionals with a lack of experience being giving such critical assignments a major contributing factor in all this misinformation? — ScottyG

That’s probably part of it, Scotty, but another part is how our political/media culture has changed. Now news organizations take sides. That didn’t exist in the “old days.” And so political spokespeople can lie through their teeth without fear of being contradicted. That’s not always true, of course, but too often it is. And it’s all part of the bigger picture, which is that we’re more polarized today than in memory. That polarized culture allows for younger pols and journalists — and not only younger ones — to misrepresent the truth and often get away with it.

My thought about political discourse and partisanship is that the country is better off having strong voices on both sides of difficult and important issues. Also I do not believe that any law is “settled” since culture and science shift over time. For example, I support the death penalty, but the science of DNA has been a game changer as we discover the many men and women who are falsely accused of heinous felonies that put them on death row. Should not the issue of capital punishment be forever unsettled? The same for abortion. Science is showing that those tiny fetuses are more than a little bit human. Should not strong voices remain in this debate as the rights of women to have agency over their own health decisions be balanced against the science and ethics of late-term abortions specifically? — Steve R

You’re right about how our information isn’t set in stone, about how our knowledge changes and moves forward and so, your would think, should our opinions. But some people are stuck in the positions they once held and won’t change, regardless of what new information comes to light. They’re ideologues — and newly uncovered facts won’t make them budge. You find a lot of these types on cable TV and talk radio.

My wife and I watched the Netflix documentary about the Challenger space shuttle explosion. Overall, it was a very interesting but one part stuck out. While NASA and the federal government were investigating the accident to determine its cause, an employee from NASA reached out to the NY Times with documents indicating that NASA knew launching the Challenger on the day it exploded was dangerous but that it disregarded these dangers and went forward. The Times was interested in running a front page story about what this employee disclosed, but it said it would not go forward unless this employee allowed the Times to use his name in its article. According to the journalists who appeared in the documentary, the story would have had no credibility if only cited anonymous sources. Fast forward to today, and it seems like every major media outlet is fine with running front page / lead stories that have all anonymous sources. What happened? How can any article or report be seen as legitimate and convincing if all of the sources are nameless? How can anyone weigh the credibility of an unnamed source? Why would any reporter want to put their name on a story that is not backed up with legitimate named sources? — JM

All good questions, JM. Sometimes, however, the only way to inform the public about something important is to go with unnamed sources — that the reporters trusts. But notice how the NY Times, for example, explains why the source won’t go on the record. In almost all cases, the source is breaking a promise, violating an oath, or revealing information he agreed he would keep private.  In other words these aren’t the kind of people you’d want to babysit your dog. Can we really trust people who’s word doesn’t mean much?  Just askin’.

When a columnist for a newspaper writes an op-ed, or a TV pundit opines on an issue, are they exercising their first amendment rights under the freedom of speech clause or the freedom of the press clause? If your opinion (which I respect greatly although I may not always agree) is expressed on a website or on a soap box on Lincoln Road (inside joke for you ) as opposed to as a writer for the Goldberg Gazette or the Bernie Broadcast Network, which 1A freedom protects your statements?

This is a topic I think about often as freedom of speech is being attacked and eroded in various venues throughout America. If hate speech (whatever that may be since no one ever defines it) may be outlawed by those who do not like the content of the speech (or in many cases the identity or affiliation of the speaker), please explain why, what I will call “hate press,” should not also be questioned? Let me be very clear: I favor open speech and open press unless the exercise of those rights actually threatens violence or could reasonably be viewed as leading to violence ( I am sure there are some other similar categories but I think you get the point).  — Mike

Freedom of speech, in its literal sense, only applies to government. Governments can’t prohibit you from saying just about anything you want. What you say may be true, it may be false, it may be smart or stupid. But the First Amendment prohibits government from squelching your right to speak. But that freedom protects you ONLY from government. So an employer can set super strict rules that prohibit employees from talking about almost anything. An employer can say if you talk politics at work, you’re going to be fired. Again, the First Amendment only prohibits government from restricting your speech. As for so-called hate speech, that’s a bit trickier because there are laws in some places that  make hate speech illegal. The courts have to decide if those laws are constitutional or not.

I was one of many self-styled small c New Left practitioners of Saul Alinsky’s strategy and tactics back in the 60s and early 70s, and I met many practicing members of old line organizations from Socialists to Socialist Workers Party to International Socialists, even some very obnoxious and off putting Maoists. In my initial naivety I was surprised to learn they were all registered Democrats. One of the great features of the New Left movement was/is there was no “there” there and nobody needs those stinking cards. Yes Donald Trump in his obnoxiousness is a terrible cross to bear but firstly, he is not a Saul Alinsky trained Democrat, and secondly he is not yet plagued with dementia as is Joe Biden.

After four years of the Trump Show we are not at war with any other nation, just with our own selves. That war began well before Trump trumped the experts and took office. Also we have renegotiated some entanglements to better serve the U.S. and will better serve the other countries in those negotiations in due time. — John D. P.

All good reasons to vote for Mr. Trump — unless you find him so detestable that you can’t bring yourself to do it. And if Joe Biden wins, whose fault would that be? Fake news? RINOs? No. It’ll be because voters chose Biden pretty much for one reason: that he’s not Donald Trump.

Every Monday, I get a CBS Sports email trumpeting their grades for the Sunday NFL games (A-pluses for the great performances, and failing Fs for teams that were in the tank). In our political arena, we have a continuing dialogue about the coronavirus and how to best handle the disease. One camp says listen to the scientists (CDC, NIH, etc). The virus “game” has been going on for months now, so I think it is time to give these Scientists grades:

Scouting: Asleep at the Wheel D-, there was far too much reliance on outside sourcing especially the WHO. What position would we be in if as a nation we relied on the U.N. to provide intel on world threats?

Execution: A Mixed Bag – C in the first half of this event as they weren’t prepared, B+ to A- once they adjusted to the extent and ramifications of the disease. Messaging appeared to be their biggest weakness.

Game Planning: C- In need of Billy Ball: They had an Oakland A’s budget to respond to a NY Yankees event so they didn’t have the resources at their disposal to be effective in the early going, it cost a lot of lives. Not having the resources is a political failure, not a bureaucratic failure, and falls primarily on the legislative branch of our government (Nancy Pelosi and Congress approve funding). The game plan is strictly the responsibility of the bureaucrats of the CDC simply put they were not prepared and the lack of planning showed in their confusing and often conflicting messaging.

That’s my take Bernie, how would you score our bureaucratic scientists? — Doug

I never thought of it that way, Doug … but I like your take on the subject. From a journalistic point of view, I wish reporters would pay more attention to all the “experts” who got it wrong at the beginning — and all the politicians who are now condemning the president who also got it wrong. I know you didn’t ask about that but I thought I’d throw it in.

Do you think some of the concerns among the GOP and enthusiasm among the media Democrats over what a President Biden might do are overblown? Even if the Senate flips Democrat, a half-dozen or so of those Democratic Senators will have been elected by red and purple states as moderate consensus-builders. Will they vote for a Medicaid expansion and increased environmental spending? Sure. But will they vote for the GND, Medicare-For-All, court-packing, etc? I don’t see it. — Joel E.

You’re onto to something, Joel. They may not do any of those things for the reasons you mention. But they might. And that’s what has conservatives rightly worried. Here’s one more reason, however, the Dems might think twice before going too far left: midterm elections are only 2 years away. If they pack the court, make Puerto Rico a state, giving voting rights to felons still in prison … they almost certainly will pay a price in 2022. And I suspect they know it. That said, let me repeat: They might do everything folks on the right think they might do. And the prospect of it happening is pretty scary.

It appears to me that, much like in fall 2016, photos and videos of Trump rallies show enthusiastic supporters turning out by the thousands, whereas rallies for the Democratic candidate are turning out somnambulant supporters by the twos and threes. What do you make of that? Are there 70 million Biden supporters holed up in their basements just waiting to poke their heads out on election day? — Gary D.

There’s no question, Gary, that there’s more enthusiasm for Donald Trump than there is for Joe Biden. Republicans in the media are always telling us that. But what they downplay or ignore is that it doesn’t really matter if Democrats are enthusiastic for Biden — as long as they’re enthusiastically against Trump. Does it really matter if they’re motivated to vote FOR Biden or motivated to vote AGAINST Trump? We’ll know soon enough.

Bernie, Is it true that Twitter is actively blocking links to your popular series of online workout videos, with the explanation that they’re “misleading and potentially dangerous”? — John D.

It is true. The one that bothers me the most is the video showing me kicking the ass of one of my workout clients who wasn’t following my instructions  — a guy named Charles Barkley. You may have heard of him. He played in the NBA for a while. The reason Twitter labeled that video as dangerous is because others might think they also can kick Sir Charle’s ass — only to find out that he’d toss them through a plate glass window if they try. I like Charles. He’s a good guy. I didn’t like kicking his ass. But there was nothing misleading about that video. I kicked his ass. Plain and simple. And so there was no reason to be cancelled by the authoritarians who run Twitter. It’s not as if I wrote a story about Joe Biden and his son in the New York Post. If you’re interested, I’m also thinking of kicking your ass, John D — and posting the video on Instagram.

 


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: Harris, Pence, Page, Woolery, and more! (10/9) — 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):


Demographic trends + Democrat Party tactics are more effective and ruthless than their enemies, and + they get free 365/24/7 Media support. That all but guarantees Dems will be one party rulers by 2024. The Democrats will go after the filibuster whether the Republicans install Barret now or never. The Debating Society aka Republicans should seize the day by adding her to the Supremes NOW. Then resign themselves (those still standing) to getting down and dirty waging asymmetric warfare against the Democrat (communist) Party like the life of this Constitutional Republic depended on it. What say you? — John D. P.

First, I don’t think it’s a good idea to call the Democratic Party the Communist Party. It sounds like we’re back in the 1950s. Consider this John: What if the Dems do what you say. They kill the filibuster and presumably pack the court with liberal justices. Let’s say they add Puerto Rico and maybe Washington D.C. as two more liberal Democrat states with four new liberal Democratic senators. How do you think that will play out in two years at the midterm elections? You think the American people would be okay with that? I don’t. But if Trump loses his most loyal supporters — especially those with big megaphones in the media and the evangelical church — might want to try a little self inspection. They never spoke up when he demeaned the office he holds. They let him get away with his unpresidential behavior. They either tolerated it or flat out loved if. If he loses in a few weeks we’ll know that most Americans didn’t.

If you got the call to moderate the next Trump/Biden debate; would you? — Tim H.

Not if a Yankees game was on TV that night.

I don’t buy the lockdowns as cause for the riots. I believe they are well organized and are directed by Democratic Party operatives. They have not recovered from the election loss of 2016. The Russian Collusion did not work. The riots will continue right up to election time. If Biden wins, they will call off the dogs unless the Marxists still believe that COVID. The Economy lockdown and Police reform still make it ripe for Revolution. Stalin said three elements had to exist before World Marxist Revolution coul succeed. Conspiracy Theory? — Joseph V.

I don’t buy that lockdowns are the cause of the riots either … but I don’t buy that they’re directed by the Democratic Party either. You think the DNC is behind the riots? Really? Who’s the ringleader? Bernie Sanders and AOC and the rest of the Sandinista wing of the party may want to fundamentally change America … but I wouldn’t worry about a World Marxist Revolution … not the kind I think you envision, Joseph.

Why do the presidential debate moderators seem to predominately be Democrat news people? Has anyone noted who the moderator of the next debate is? Steve Scully with C-Span. Scully interned at BIDEN’s Senatorial office back in the late 70’s. No one on the debate committee saw a potential problem with this? At the very least a bad optic? How would the Dems respond if say a former Trump business intern was tapped to be a moderator? Kind of surprised of no push back from the Trump team. — John M.

Good point, John. One reason there are so many Democrat news people moderating debates is that most journalists are liberals and vote for Democrats — not matter how often they deny it. And you’re right about the optics. Scully may be scrupulously fair. He may even try harder to be fair because of his job history. But, you’re right, it raises concerns.

Editor’s note: The below response is in regard to DonEstif’s remark from last week’s Q&A, regarding his statement that George Floyd “had self-inflicted the overwhelming majority cause to his death.” It’s been edited a bit, just for length.

I feel compelled to defend that I am not nuts. The original Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s report does not mention homicide in it once, nor does it indicate asphyxiation: CARDIOPULMONARY ARREST COMPLICATING LAW ENFORCEMENT SUBDUAL, RESTRAINT, AND NECK COMPRESSION (please note I said the cop was a “complicating factor”). In the body-cam transcripts, Floyd complains frequently of not be able to breathe well, before he by himself goes down to the ground some time well after initial encounter; Floyd is not complying with the cops and there are various bystanders at different times telling Floyd to ‘stop resisting man.’

The cops realized early on that Floyd was high on something, which Floyd said was “whooping” and things other than drugs, but the cops shortly called for an ambulance (which got lost and showed up very late); the toxicology report indicates almost four times the lethal amount of fentanyl + some amount of amphetamines (Dr. Baden did not have tox report(?) when he claimed death by asphyxiation based largely on the video); the examiner’s report indicates two different pre-existing heart conditions; the cop’s knee on the back & neck is a technique taught by the police dept to restrain suspects. So, I believe these cops have been overcharged and the DA will be unable to succeed with 2nd Degree Murder and 2nd Degree Manslaughter charges/convictions.

Now, if those ‘facts’ are true, am I still nuts? — DonEstif

I never said that George Floyd wasn’t high or that he didn’t resist arrest. But he was cuffed and under control when the cop kept his knee on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. That may in fact be a legal restraint in Minneapolis. The cop may in fact have been overcharged. But it was excessive force nonetheless. Floyd’s death didn’t have to happen. I’m sticking by that, Don.

Greetings Sir Bernie. By the time you answer this, the Pence vs. Harris debate will have passed, so I get that circumstances may change by the time you answer this. SO hypothetically speaking, what if Trump dies from Covid-19? Then Pence would be the one running for 2020 president. Would the Republicans have a better chance of winning, since at that point it would no longer be about Trump’s Dumbass comments and bombastic personality? If Trump lives and sees that Pence wins the debate against Harris with not only facts but also dignity, respectability, and presidential decorum, do you think he would learn his lesson on how to properly conduct himself during a debate? Finally, and still hypothetically, what if the Dems are successful in the 2020 races EXCEPT for an overwhelming defeat in the Senate? How do you think THAT would affect the Supreme Court? — “Debatable” Regards From The Emperor

Let’s leave out the hypothetical about Trump croaking. If Pence wins the debate, you ask, will that teach the president a lesson about dignity etc. NO. The president is incapable of change. He is what he is (if you know what I mean). As for an “overwhelming defeat [for the Dems] in the Senate: Republicans should be so lucky. If there’s an “overwhelming” win for either side, it won’t be for the GOP. I am, hypothetically yours, … Bernie

Mr. G, Two-parter. What is the Country’s number one “big league” fear if Trump wins? What is the Country’s number one biggest fear if Biden wins? Elections have all turned into downside mitigation, don’t you think?
— ScottyG

Biggest fear if Trump wins:  Democrats think he’ll destroy our democracy. He won’t. My biggest fear if Trump wins is that I’ll have to listen to his nonsense for 4 more years. Though I hope he wins.

Biggest fear if Biden wins: That Bernie and AOC will be calling the shots. If that happens, be afraid. Be very afraid.

What are your thoughts on Trump/Pence still using “individual freedom” as a defense of the administration’s decision to hold several coronavirus super-spreading events (both potential and actual), where there’s no social distancing, and no mask-wearing requirement? The defense seems even more moronic, now that the president and many of his direct associates have been infected. — Ben G.

I’m with you, Ben. We’re all for individual freedom. And if one wants to expose himself to a deadly virus, that’s fine with me. But when that person exposes someone else, that’s not individual freedom anymore. That’s reckless behavior.

What did you think of Kamala Harris’s debate performance? I wasn’t impressed, especially being that she’s supposed to be some hot-shot prosecutor. She didn’t even bother to counter-punch Pence after he accused her and Biden of politicizing COVID-19. How does one pass on an opportunity like that, when Trump has politicized it like crazy? — Alex D.

My single biggest takeaway about Harris: I didn’t like her going in and I liked her even less during and after the debate. Debates are often NOT about issues, but about how the candidates come off to the voting public. She came off as unlikeable. Very unlikeable. Her smirks were beyond annoying. Now I don’t like her AND her running mate … AND Donald Trump. HELP!

Heard this morning that Trump backed out of the 2nd debate, once the debate committee announced that it would be virtual (because Trump has covid). Is this a mistake on Trump’s part? Also, what did you think of Susan Page as a debate moderator? Biased or fair? — Philip M.

I think the president understandably doesn’t want to take part in a virtual debate. What if Joe does the debate from his basement … with an earpiece … and with aides handing him notes on how to answer the questions? As for Susan Page: She did a very good job — of imitating a potted plant. She would ask a question and the candidates would say whatever they wanted, ignoring the actual question. And she did … nothing. Not a fan.

During Wednesday’s VP debate, the camera showed a fly landing on Mike Pence’s head, and staying there for exactly 2 minutes an 2 seconds. “2 minutes and 2 seconds” was the phrase famously coined by Love Connection host Chuck Woolery, who used it whenever the show was going to a commercial break. Chuck Woolery is an enormous fan of President Trump. Do you believe that the fly was a profound symbol of MAGA solidarity? Or could it be that the fly was on George Soros’s payroll, and was dispatched to Salt Lake City to try and knock Pence off his game? Lastly, what is your response to the announcement this morning that the fly has tested positive for COVID-19?  — John D.

Excellent questions, Mr. John D. I’ve checked with my sources and have learned that the fly was fake news. Fake news designed to distract us from the real issue: the annoying smirk on Kamala Harris’ face. As long as we looked at the fake news fly … we ignored the very real very annoying smirk. Whose idea was unleashing a fake news fly to distract simple minded people — no offense — like you John D? The only politician brilliant enough, smart enough, savvy enough to think of something so brilliant, smart and savvy. That’s right. It was Joe Biden’s fake news fly. And even though the fly was fake news, he had an earpiece in his left ear which was telling him to stay there as long as the annoying smirk stayed on Kamala’s face. Biden is a genius, right?

I gotta go now and take my meds.

 


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: The Debate, Trump’s Taxes, BLM, and more! (10/2) — 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):


Lance Morrow had an excellent Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal – “Before Reporting Became ‘Journalism'”. I was interested in your thoughts on this particular passage:

“Let not the listener or viewer or reader be detained by thought but instead move briskly on to emotions, which are the addictive and highly profitable drugs in which big media traffic. News media become crack houses of information and, all the while, ruthless participants in the struggle for political power and for what the parsons on ‘Morning Joe’ call ‘the soul of America.'” — Steve R.

I’m with Morrow on this. News organizations are no longer where we can reliably go to get honest information. They are part of the problem. They pour gasoline on the fire every chance they get, especially cable TV news. It’s good for business. And the people who want news to reflect their own opinions: They’re a big part of the problem too. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m disgusted with what passes for journalism these days — and with the audiences that prop it up.

This is more a comment than a question. The Breonna Taylor tragedy seems to be a better example for the protests than the Floyd case. At least she was not a well-documented criminal. The man with her was justified in his actions and the cops return of fire was also justified, albeit excessive, so this is a situation that needs mitigating police procedures to avoid similar occurrences. But the Floyd matter, based on body-cam transcripts, indicates Floyd had self-inflicted the overwhelming majority cause to his death. When this is officially concluded, such as just occurred in Louisville, the rioting will really go nuts. So, while the cop was a complicating factor in contributing to Floyd’s death, I believe the riots are collateral damage from the lockdowns around the country. Had there not been the lockdown, the riots would have been far less violent and destructive, or even nonexistent. The riots would likely have been nonexistent had the media not fanned the fires, which they all did – if it bleeds . . . Ergo, the riots are, to a large extent, a direct result from lockdowns and from the blood-thirsty media. Does that (mouthful) sound kind of nuts? — DonEstif

Let’s just say, Don, I don’t agree with much of what you’ve said. I don’t agree that George Floyd “had self inflicted the overwhelming majority cause to his death.” I think the cop with his knee on Floyd’s neck was overwhelmingly responsible for the death. Calling the cops “a complicating factor” is putting it mildly. As for riots and the lockdowns: As for the rioting “to a large extent” the result of lockdowns and “the bloodthirsty media” — I don’t agree with that either. Do you sound kind of nuts? Could be, Don.

Bernie, you need to break your earlier proclamation and pull the lever for Trump. Every vote matters, we cannot let the socialist take over! — Joe M.

I might have done that until I saw him in the debate. Now it ain’t gonna happen. And if he loses, don’t even attempt to put it on me and the others who prefer a GOP victory.

Let’s stipulate what you often say, Trump lies or exaggerates A LOT. That said, in 9/25’s Q&A, a reader cited Trump’s recent quote where he said “…it affects virtually nobody…” in a jag about Covid. It was clear from the context that he was talking about children and teenagers. I saw the speech myself and it was even referenced in the preamble of the question. Trump is wrong a lot, but in this case the data backs him up. According to the CDC, the survival rates for Covid by age group are:

  • 0-19: 99.997%
  • 20-49: 99.98%
  • 50-69: 99.5%
  • 74+: 94.6%.

0.003% mortality is in fact *virtually* zero. Just because we may not like Trump or the way he speaks doesn’t automatically nullify facts if they happen to come from him. It’s the Left’s knee jerk reaction to dismiss *everything* that Trump says that has led to many of the bizarre reactions we’ve seen, such as calling Hydroxychloroquine “dangerous” and “deadly” despite the fact that it’s been in common use for 60 years and is available over the counter in virtually all countries other than the US. Medical doctors will tell you that there are more adverse reactions for young people taking Tylenol than with Covid. To borrow from a common saying, let’s not shoot the message (just because we don’t like the messenger). — Keith M.

(Editor’s note: John F. sent a similar comment)

I’m responding to your comment, Keith, the day after the debate … so I’m not likely to give Mr. Trump the benefit of any doubt. I’m not a fan of shooting the message because we don’t like the messenger, but the messenger needs to talk like a grownup and be clear … something this president seems unable to do.

Have you seen Larry Elder’s documentary “Uncle Tom” about black conservatives, or Black conservatives? I found it very enlightening, compelling, and emotionally uplifting. If systemic racism exists in this country, it is mostly concentrated within the Democratic Party and it’s philosophy to Blacks that do not support it’s narratives and platforms. I would like to hear observations of this documentary especially by Black liberals, honest criticism and acknowledgement. Cheers! — D.E.

I have not seen it … but welcome any black liberals on this site (I’m guessing there are approximately NONE) — to weigh in.

Hi Bernie, Really enjoyed your trophy culture segment on HBO Real Sports. Seeing the resulting entitlement and difficulty coping with demands of real life in the post-graduate medical education environment in my residents and medical students. Not sure why it was so hard to see that teaching our children how to be resilient and compete isn’t such a bad thing when it comes to succeeding in life. — Enjoy your work, Jedd

Thanks very much Jedd. Give a kid a trophy for finishing in 17th place — literally! — and you’re doing a lot of harm to that kid. He’ll accept As in school and when it doesn’t get it, he’ll fold. The Trophy Culture is a very bad idea.

Mr. G, I HAD to go home for a funeral to NYC for a few days this past weekend. Covid aside, the very noticeable deterioration of most things the past year or two is just sad. The vibe, the look, the poor services, the litter, the lack of any secure feeling and the energy of NY to me seems to be Gone. I don’t blame the politicians, I blame the resident voters. They had NYC fixed for many years; so why do the people choose to go backwards? And what is the strongest pull for people to continue to vote for those who destroy quality of life? I’m not going back to NYC anytime soon, I don’t care who dies. –ScottyG

Sorry about your loss, Scotty. New Yorkers voted for their “progressive” mayor, now they can live with the consequences. I have no sympathy for them.

Bernie, You’re probably familiar with the awkward silence on “Outnumbered” that ensued when Newt Gingrich called out George Soros for his work funding far-left district attorney’s elections across the US. He was basically told that they wouldn’t discuss this topic; he asked if it was “verboten”. Subsequent comments by Harris Faulkner were to the effect that the show wasn’t censored but didn’t really explain the hands-off Soros approach. Is he so powerful that the most of the media, even of the right of center, won’t touch him? His money has had a dramatic impact of the shape of our society and government, it seems to me. — John F.

I watch as little of cable as I can get away with and didn’t see that show. I know nothing about why Fox would put a lid on Soros bashing. Mystery to me.

Based on Tuesday night’s debate, is Chris Wallace biased? — Scott

Let’s just say he was tougher on Trump than on Biden … BUT … Trump gave him more reason to sound like he was anti-Trump. Whatever you think of Wallace, Scott, Trump was worse. A lot worse.

I have an observation and a question. The observation: In 2003 or so, I watched two pro wrestlers engage in a debate about the Iraq War that ended with one body-slamming the other through a table. It was marginally more dignified than what we saw tonight. My question is: could Chris Wallace’s late father Mike Wallace MAYBE have kept Trump in check, or would that have been too much even for him? — Joel E.

No one could have kept Donald Trump in check — and that’s because Mr. Trump doesn’t care about rules, decorum, civility or anything else — except himself.

Bernie, since Biden went low with Trump, do you think he hurt himself among independents who were hoping he would be a more mature candidate? — Joe M.

Maybe. But I think Donald Trump hurt himself more … by behaving like Donald Trump.

Megyn Kelly put forth an interesting idea about how a moderator can better handle a completely out-of-control political debate like the one we saw on Tuesday. When a candidate, or maybe both candidates, won’t stop talking over their opponent, and won’t stop breaking the rules, she suggests:

  1. turning off their microphones
  2. taking the camera off of the candidates, and putting it on the moderator

She thinks it would only take a couple of times of doing that (depriving the candidate(s) of attention) to get them to fall in line. While it’s sad that we should even have to consider such a thing when dealing with adults, I think she may be onto something. What do you think? — Ben G.

You can kill the microphones if you want, but that won’t stop Donald Trump from talking out of turn. As for taking the camera off the candidates, they probably wouldn’t even know it. There’s a better way to deal with debates that turn into food fights: find better candidates in the first place. I know: Good luck with that, right?

Bernie, Chris Wallace is getting a lot of flak for his role in the debate. Jason Whitlock said this in his article about Wallace’s performance, “Wallace played the role of Nero at the behest of corporate advertisers. The instructions given to Wallace and debate organizers were simple:

  1. Create a choppy format that doesn’t allow either candidate to say anything of substance.
  2. Escalate President Trump’s natural desire to be hyper combative.
  3. Ask a series of pointless, race-related questions so that it appears you addressed the most important issue facing this country.”

Do you believe this was the case? — JM

No. I don’t think Chris Wallace was given any instructions. I think was in a bad position from the jump. The candidates were going to do whatever they wanted, no matter how many times Chris Wallace told them to play nice.  No one can control Donald Trump, the chief offender. Not Wallace, not Biden and interestingly, not Donald Trump.

To me, the biggest revelation from Trump’s taxes isn’t that his accountant is REALLY gifted at saving him money through legal tax loopholes, but rather that Trump is by no means the “genius businessman” that he has long presented himself as (both in his brand and in his argument for becoming president in 2016). He inherited hundreds of millions of dollars and blew it on failed casino ventures. He was in serious trouble until Jeff Zucker (of all people) turned him into a reality star which revamped his image and replenished his finances… before he began losing big money again on real estate ventures, and eventually decided to run for president. What are your thoughts? — Alex D.

I think you nailed it, Alex. If his accountant found legal deductions that brought his client’s tax bill down, good for him. Only liberals think it’s wrong to pay as little tax as the law requires us to pay. But you’re right about this revelation that Donald Trump is not the genius businessman he wants us all to believe he is. But that part might get lost in the part about him supposedly paying “only” $750 in federal taxes in one year.

Bernie, Let’s say that you’re locked in a ruthless, every-man-for-himself paintball battle with other media pundits. All but four people have been eliminated: You, Geraldo, Donny Deutsch, and Jesse Watters. You only have two paintball pellets left in your gun, so you have to make them count. Would you:

A) Take out Geraldo (for once threatening to punch you in the face) and Deutsch (for once ambushing you with a panel of 5 angry liberals)?

OR

B) Shoot Jesse Watters twice, just to knock that know-nothing smirk off his face?

— John D.

This is a very good question. Very good!  Here’s what I would do: First, I’d tell Donny that Geraldo called him a moron. Donny is a moron but still would be offended enough to try to punch out Geraldo. Geraldo would then wrestle Donny to the ground. While they were tussling, I’d tell Jesse — I would talk slowly because Jesse is, well, not too smart — that he should break up the Donny-Geraldo fight because Donald Trump just called and told him to break up the fight.  Since Jesse will do anything Donald Trump tells him to do, Jesse would jump in and try to break up the fight. At which point Donny and Geraldo would kick Jesse’s ass while at the same time wiping that know-nothing smirk off his face. At that point, I’d give the paintballs to Donny and Geraldo who, given their massive egos, would shoot each other. End of story.

Please send my regards, John D, to the other residents of the Mental Institution.

 


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.