Bernie’s Q&A: Mark Levin, Michelle Obama, Ginsburg, Reagan, "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" and More (4/26)
Welcome to this week’s Premium Q&A session for Premium Interactive members. I appreciate you all signing up and joining me. Thank you.
Let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
I recall even before Israel had built walls, the borders were still relatively secure compared to what is going on at our Southern border. I believe they merely relied on the governments in the neighboring countries to provide security by holding their leadership responsible for any issues. Don't you think if we were serious we could do the same? Maybe an F22 Raptor buzzing Mexico City would make a point that needs to be made? -- Michael E.
For some reason the U.S. government has not been able to convince our neighbors to the South to stop the caravans. Cutting off aid to Honduras and Guatemala is tempting but it'll make things worse. It'll drive more immigrants north. Mexico is the key. No one comes up from Guatemala without passing through Mexico. Mexico doesn't have to let the immigrants in. Whatever Mexico is doing to help hasn't been enough -- but now there may be some good news. Mexico in recent days has been cracking down on immigrants, rounding some up -- but who knows how long this will last or what long term affect it will have on the caravans heading our way.
As for your idea about sending low flying F22s over Mexico City -- a tad over the line, Michael. A tad.
Is there not one "journalist" in this country that wonders why Bryan Pagliano, the man that set up Hillary Clinton's private server, was given immunity? He never was charged with anything. As far as I know he never gave up any actionable information. Usually someone trades information to get out of trouble. He was given immunity and we never heard another word about him or from him. Where is Woodward and Bernstein? -- Doug R.
Good question, Doug. I've had friends ask me the same thing. And your question raises even more: How did a whole bunch of Clinton cronies -- not just Pagliano -- get such "polite" treatment from the FBI? Why were they allowed to keep their computers? Why weren't they questioned under oath? Why did James Comey begin writing up his final report clearing Hillary Clinton weeks before the FBI spoke to her? (In his book, "A Higher Authority," Comey explains it this way: "Prosecutors routinely begin drafting indictments before an investigation is finished if it looks likely to end up there, and competent ones also begin thinking how to end investigations that seem likely to end without charges.”)
Attorney General Barr needs to get to the bottom of all of this. One more point: When a journalist is given information by an anonymous source, it's a story if the information is true. But it could be an even bigger story if it's NOT true. Why did the source pass along false information? What are his or her motives? The journalists who got collusion wrong for the past two years might want to try to make up for their past deeds by looking into the question you raised -- and the other ones too.
Despite her protests to the contrary, I believe that Michelle Obama will be the Democrat 2020 nominee because none of the announced candidates will win the nomination prior to the convention and by that time , their hard left turn will make Michelle a compelling choice due to her "perceived moderation," something her book and President Obama's recent moderate statements will reinforce, not to mention she checks off the two critical boxes on race and gender and the former president would ensure a huge turnout in November 2020. Why hasn't this possibility been more discussed by conservative pundits? -- Michael F.
Because they and I don't think it's going to happen. And for good reason. As the Democrats move from primary to primary, laggards will drop out. Before long there'll be a relatively few survivors. One of them will win the nomination -- unless it goes to a brokered convention. I don't see Mrs. Obama surfacing in either scenario. If I'm wrong, I'll give you a great big mea culpa apology, Michael.
A lot has been made on the point that Mueller did not exonerate President Trump. Isn't it on him to prove the charges of conspiracy and obstruction? Without proof, isn't there essentially no conspiracy or obstruction. -- Kip V.
Regarding conspiracy, Mueller concluded there was no evidence to support such a charge. On obstruction, you could argue that as a prosecutor he should have either said, "He obstructed justice even if we can't, as per DOJ rules, indict him" -- or he should have said, "There's not evidence to support that charge either." Instead he waffled and said he wasn't exonerating the president. But as the Report makes clear, President Trump tried very hard to obstruct the investigation. The only reason he didn't succeed is because his people refused to follow his orders. See John Daly's excellent column on this on this website.
Outside of my religious background, I believe the 20th century to be one of the most intriguing, historical, periods of mankind. If you could pick five historical decades to work as a journalist, outside of the years you did write, what decades of mankind would that be? Both BC and AD timeframes are accepted. -- Tim H.
Much of the first century AD would top the list. I'd go back to earlier Roman times but if I reported what was going on one of the ruling despots would put ME on the cross. Let's move closer to home. 1776 would be a good time to work as a journalist. The 1860s because of the Civil War. The 1920s because of how they roared ... leading up to the Great Depression in 1929. The 1940s provided lots for a journalist and finally the 1960s, but I was around to cover part of that decade. That's six. You made me think.
As a kid, I remember my parents thinking that the "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" incident with Dan Rather was a hoax, and that he (and possibly CBS News) had made it up as a publicity stunt. I know that it was proven years later to be legit, but I'm curious as to whether any of Rather's colleagues at CBS News (including you) were ever skeptical of his account. -- John D.
Lots of my colleagues were skeptical. No one thought CBS News was in on it, but yes, more than a few wondered what really happened. There were theories -- none of them good for Dan. I won't reveal what they were because none panned out. As you say, John, the crazy story turned out to be true.
Sir Bernard-- I haven't asked a question in weeks, so I am hoping you will indulge me with these multi questions. Although I realize you have to be somewhere by mid-December, would you be so kind to share with your new, ever-growing and very interested audience the following:
1) Any info regarding your children? 2) What you do for fun? 3) Where, other than the U.S., would you consider living and why? 4) What was your most memorable interview and why? 5) If you could have an honest conversation with any living person, who might that be? 6) Do you have an opinion as to why Mark Levin rants and raves on his radio show, but presents a harmonious demeanor on his TV show? --Matthew Q.
No. Family stuff is private.
I used to play pick up basketball until I decided I don't like chasing guys much younger than me all over the court on Sunday morning. Now, I play AT golf. I'm a beginner. And it's hard. Real hard.
In Fantasy Land, I'd say Australia. They speak English. Nice people. A lot like America used to be. But it won't happen.
I interviewed the head of the Russian Olympic Committee ahead of the Sochi Winter Games for Real Sports on HBO. He was a friend of Putin's. Let's just say I'm lucky I made it out alive. I'd also put my interview with Paul McCartney on a memorable list. We hit it off.
I'd say Putin, but it wouldn't be an honest conversation. Same with Mr. Trump. I've interviewed Alan Dershowitz and would like to do it again. THAT would be an honest conversation.
I've thought about that too. Show Biz, Matthew. Pure Show Biz. Though, to be fair, he is a conservative ideologue and I trust really believes what he's yelling about. But ... That schtick wouldn't work on TV -- not in the present format where he interviews guests. I did see a Levin TV show recently where he had no guests, and there was a little of the ranting style of his radio show.
Hello Mr. Goldberg: What is your opinion of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a judge? As a Supreme Court Justice? As a person? Is she rightly lionized by the left? I know that she was friendly with the late Justice Scalia...that must have been interesting. Best Regards---The Emperor
She's an outspoken liberal woman. That's why she's lionized by the left. I know nothing about her as a person off the bench.
When are you going to writing your next book. Surely your taking good notes on what’s going on right now! How about, “an Unslobbering Love Affair with Trump!! -- Robert P.
I made a vow: NO MORE BOOKS. I made it after my second book and violated the pledge 3 times. But now I'm serious. It's too lonely, too time-consuming and hawking the book on a million radio shows is torture. No more. This time for real.
(Editor's note: The below question was shortened due to length and some personal details):
Bernie: What is your opinion of Mark Levin’s Fox show “Life, Liberty and Levin”? I usually try to tune in because he seems to have a unique ability to draw information out of a broad range of interesting people, making him more or less a male Barbara Walters.
Last week I was shocked when I tuned in to see Levin interviewing Mike Lindell, the ubiquitous “My Pillow” guy. I was vaguely aware that Lindell had a past history of cocaine abuse and at some point he cleaned up his act, but until Levin’s show I didn’t know the details of his sordid history. With a big smile on his face, Lindell bragged that he had been a “functioning” crack addict for over 40 years, and he was high as a kite when he started his pillow business. Things got so bad that at one point his drug dealers cut him off. He went on to claim that a few years ago he found Jesus and now he sells pillows and religion all mixed up together. As a practicing physician with over 40 years of experience, I can absolutely guarantee you that there is no such thing as a “functioning addict”. When someone abuses alcohol they usually only hurt themselves, their families and perhaps friends and some co-workers, but it usually doesn’t have any broader effects on society. For people who abuse drugs like cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine, the picture is much different. Unlike alcohol, the substances they abuse are illegal and are moved into this country by drug lords like the notorious El Chapo Guzman, who was directly responsible for killing thousands of people and indirectly responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of people. When you connect the dots, it is clear that by supporting people like El Chapo for 40 years, Lindell is indirectly responsible for the deaths of countless people throughout the US, Mexico and many other countries around the world. Levin seemed oblivious to these obvious facts and he seemed to be fascinated by this obvious psychopathic con man. Do you think Mark Levin owes his viewers and the general public an apology for showcasing this psychopathic clown? -- William W.
WOW! You don't want to give a guy credit for turning his life around? Really? I think the interview was legitimate, William. I defer to your medical knowledge, but if someone finds a way to get off drugs, that's a good thing. I don't have a problem with an interview that shares that story. And if you connect the dots as you suggest then anyone who's ever lit up a joint is also responsible for the deaths of "countless people." Sorry, William, while I get your point, I'm just not on the same page.
Hi Bernie, Long time fan. I want to know your opinion on our western values and if you see a bright future or a dead end. Keep us educated. -- Evelyn
That's a pretty big question, Evelyn -- the future of Western values and I assume Western Civilization? I have hope. I'm guessing our values will survive. But ... I think the Left in this country -- if they had free reign -- would do a lot of harm to our values and our civilization. It's not crazy to think the hard Left would like to criminalize speech they don't like, to use just one example. We already know that they want to confiscate wealth from those who have it and spread it around to those who don't. Sooner or later a so-called progressive will win the White House. Then we'll have an answer to your question about western values.
Dear Bernie, First off, I just want to say that I love your column! My question regards Mayor Pete. Of all the democratic presidential candidates, he impresses me the most. I want to make it clear that I have absolutely nothing against gay people, but if Mayor Pete was elected president, do you think his sexual persuasion would prevent him from dealing effectively with foreign leaders from Russia, China or Saudi Arabia and perhaps others? -- Fred L.
Donald Trump is straight. You think he has trouble dealing effectively with foreign leaders?
If the mayor from a small city in Indiana can get all the way to the Oval Office, then he's smart enough to know how to deal with foreign leaders who may have discriminatory tendencies. But the fact that he's gay shouldn't influence whether the American people think he's capable of being president. Vote for him because of his policies, or vote against him for the same reason. Not whether foreign leaders will accept him. We can't let them influence decisions that are ours alone. Thanks for the question, Fred, and the kind words about my columns.
Bernie... What are your thoughts on the proliferation of social media use in the world of sports today? Does it not seem that athletes are more worried at winning Twitter than their game of choice? We’re seeing more and more of athletes checking devices while games are in progress. New Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury is going as far as implementing designated ‘phone times’ during practices and meetings. Make some sense of this!! -- Greg W.
Remember, Greg, these athletes are young guys, some aren't even 20 yet. And despite their athletic talent which makes them different, they're like other people their age who are on social media all the time and who care what somebody tweeted. To me, it's all too much, but as I say, they're no different from young guys (and women) who aren't athletes.
Hi Bernie, I'm just curious of your take on what's driving supposedly intelligent democratic leaders to take on truly insane positions these days. My favorite new one is Bill de Blasio stating that he wants to do away with "traditional glass and steel skyscrapers." Is it just me, or are grade school kids starting to make more sense than leftist politicians? -- Keith M.
It is NOT just you, Keith. It's me too. And a lot of others. The Left has gone nuts. That may be a bit glib, but it explains a lot.
I've heard many on the left refer to how stupid they believe that Ronald Reagan was. One point they made is that Ronald Reagan said that pollution came from trees. However nobody gives me the context on which he made this remark. Could you please clarify this for me? Always a pleasure -- The Emperor
I got this very long answer from NASA and in case you're wondering. I don't understand any of it. Warning to everyone other than The Emperor: The following may put you to sleep.
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan claimed that trees produce more air pollution than automobiles, fueling a spate of jokes about “killer trees.” He was mostly wrong, but not completely.
It is true that forests emit volatile organic compounds and reactive hydrocarbons such as isoprene, a chemical that contributes to air pollution. Although isoprene is harmless by itself, the gas reacts with other substances in the atmosphere to form certain types of fine aerosols and ground-level ozone. (Ozone near the ground causes health problems, damages crops, and contributes to climate change. In the stratosphere, it is beneficial because it prevents harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching Earth’s surface.)
What Reagan neglected to indicate is that unhealthly levels of ozone wouldn’t form without nitrogen oxides (NOx), pollutants emitted when gasoline and coal are burned," explained Bryan Duncan, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the deputy project scientist for the Aura satellite. Since sunlight is ubiquitous and forests emit large quantities of volatile organics in the summer, it is the amount of nitrogen oxide that determines whether ozone forms over cities on hot summer days. That NOx is most often supplied by vehicles.
In the 1970s and 80s, the United States spent billions trying to limit hydrocarbon emissions, but such efforts had little impact on ground-level ozone because forests were providing plenty of natural hydrocarbons. Research conducted by William Chameides of Georgia Tech underscored the futility of trying to limit hydrocarbons while ignoring nitrogen oxides.
“Hydrocarbons from forests are so common and widespread in the eastern U.S. that their presence simply overwhelms anything happening with anthropogenic hydrocarbons,” Duncan said. “The only realistic way to try to limit ozone formation is to do something about nitrogen oxides, which is what has been done in the U.S. over the last several decades. As a result, surface ozone has declined. Not to mention that forests are a natural and crucial part of the environment. Cutting down trees just doesn’t make any sense.”
While satellites cannot measure isoprene emissions from forests directly, they can measure formaldehyde (HCHO), a gas that forms as a result of oxidizing isoprene emissions and as a byproduct of fires. The map above, based on data collected by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on the Aura satellite, shows the global distribution of formaldehyde in September 2013.
The highest concentrations of formaldehyde were present over the Amazon rainforest, in southeastern Africa, and in the southeastern United States. While isoprene from forests was the primary source of the formaldehyde in these areas, observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) show that fires, most likely crop burning, contributed to the high levels in these areas as well.
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