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Bernie’s Q&A: Jessica Kwong, the War on Christmas, Clinton, Bloomberg, and more! (12/6) — 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):
I read that Newsweek fired Jessica Kwong because she neglected to report on Trump's secret trip to Afghanistan. Well, quite frankly, if the trip was a secret, and she misreported what Trump was doing over Thanksgiving because she had misinformation, I get that a retraction may be in order. But losing her job over it? I don't read Newsweek, but I don't believe there was anything especially malicious or slanderous about Trump in the publication...just wrong information. Truthfully, I would have been more annoyed as an American citizen if what was supposed to be a secret trip to Afghanistan had been revealed before it occurred, since our president's security would be at risk; all she did was report erroneously that Trump spent his day on the golf course. Your thoughts? Thankful Regards From The Emperor
I'm with you, Emperor. She says when she learned that the president was going to Afghanistan she tried to update her original story, which said he was spending Thanksgiving day tweeting and playing golf. She puts the blame on an editor who didn't update the story fast enough. In any case, the death sentence -- termination -- seems way too harsh.
Who do you predict will be the Democratic nominee for president - Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg? Or will it be a dark horse like Bloomberg or Michelle Obama? -- Steve R.
Not Bloomberg or Mrs. Obama ... beyond that, I'm stumped. If I had to hazard a guess -- and that's all it is -- I'd say Biden. But there's a good chance he'll do something dopey and be out of the running. My dark house bet is on the mayor from South Bend.
I am a government employee (FAA) and a conservative. I've heard that the Senate is sitting on over 400 House bills. Virtually nothing is getting through or done. This circus of impeachment inquiries, etc., is keeping people occupied, both in and out of Congress, while the real work for which they were elected to Congress goes...nowhere. Some questions:
From where you stand, just how bad is this situation in D.C.?
Do you think that once the impeachment is over, elected officials will get to work and start doing their jobs (like working with the administration on budgeting and reducing the deficit, instead of always operating on a continuing resolution)?
-- Jake H...tired of the BS
Hey Jake. I'm tired of the BS too. Government is set up to move slowly. Everything needs consensus. So, in a sense, things never run smoothly in Washington. Corporations are more efficient than government. The CEO and the board speak and things get done. That's not how government operates (for better or worse).
That leads me to your second question. I do not think Democrats will work with Donald Trump if he's re-elected ... and I don't think Republicans in Congress will work with a Democrat president. We used to have a loyal opposition. Now we have a resistance. I see no light at the end of the tunnel. Not yet, anyway.
How does America stop our divisiveness and Partyism. I'm not seeing it. Do we have to go through two more presidents to finally get sick and tired of rotten character? And will the Press ever come back to their senses? The two feed off of each other I think. Got any tangible things we can do today as a nation that regular people might agree on? If so, how would we get that into place? -- Bill N.
The biggest problem facing America is the divisiveness you ask about. And I don't think things will get better anytime soon. And the longer it goes the more difficult it will be to get to a more peaceful, less divisive time and place in this country. If a charismatic person were elected president, someone who didn't call the other side names and made a real effort to unite the country, that would be a start. But again, I don't see that day coming anytime soon. The partisans like detesting each other. They're energized by seeing the other side as the enemy, not simply as a worthy opponent. And talk radio along with cable news feeds off of the polarization. They make money off of it. Sorry, Bill, but while I hope I'm wrong, I see more of the same in the future.
Hi Bernie. I'm pretty sure that I remember you, more than once on The O'Reilly Factor, throwing a bit of cold water on Bill's crusade against the "War on Christmas." As a Christian, I never understood how a company asking its employees to say "Happy Holidays" was supposed to be offensive to me. Do you think this was a completely concocted "grievance" controversy ginned up by Bill and others on Fox News, basically as a publicity stunt? -- Jen R.
Great question, Jen. I think there were two factors at work. First, some conservative Christians really did believe there was a war on their religion and on Christmas in particular -- a war waged by secular liberals. But where did they get that idea? From cable TV, mostly. Bill led the crusade and a chunk of his audience followed. Which leads us into your question about a concocted grievance. Never underestimate the power of ratings. I think once the issue caught on, some Fox News hosts weren't going to let a good crisis go to waste, if you know what I mean.
Why do Republicans & the GOP offer the American people a false choice between the extremes of pure socialism & pure capitalism, when every Western democracy --including the US-- has chosen a position in the socialism-capitalism spectrum far from either extreme? -- PolyG.
Excellent point. Because those who do that are either not as smart as you -- and I sincerely mean that -- or they're playing to their constituents who they feel they can rile up with extreme arguments. Nuance doesn't always play well.
A friend of mine recently made the point that while conservatives have gotten some things they've wanted from Trump that they NEVER would have gotten from President Hillary, we'd have actually had smaller budget deficits over the past 3 years if she had won. His logic is that with a Democrat in the White House, the Republican base would have still cared about fiscal responsibility, and so they would have pressured Republicans in congress to better contain spending (something they refuse to do with Trump). What are you thoughts? -- Dennis B.
Your friend may be on to something. President Trump certainly isn't keeping a lid on spending -- and his GOP buddies aren't forcing him to. But, as your pal suggests, if Hillary were running the show, the GOP would be a lot tougher on spending. Holding the other team responsible for all sorts of things is a lot easier than holding your own team responsible. That said, neither side is worried enough about the national debt -- a crisis at least as important as climate change, in my opinion.
Related to last week's Off the Cuff, what do you think of the Trump campaign making the decision to stop credentialing Bloomberg News reporters for rallies or campaign events (because they won't be investigating Michael Bloomberg or other Dem candidates) -- Gary N.
Petty and unnecessary, though I think Bloomberg News should behave like a news organization and investigate all the candidates, including their boss.
Mr.G, With all due respect, I’m guessing you might have a slight advantage on me in remembering The 60’s. Are these current times where we see The Left pushing such radical and immediate change in our society much different today in your opinion? Or is it just the topics have changed from Peace, Love & Drugs to No accountability, Free Stuff & Drugs ? -- ScottyG
I've actually thought about this for some time now, Scotty. I think the main difference between the 60s and now is that back then the nation was polarized pretty much over one issue -- the war in Vietnam. Now, we're polarized over just about everything. I think the divisiveness is worse today ... and one of the biggest problems facing our nation.
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.