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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
I read this morning that many in the GOP leadership do not believe the recent polls showing that people on the right are well in favor of the recent $1.9T “Rescue” plan. They claim the people don’t even know what’s in the bill yet but are only polling positive hearing they are going to get some money. I don’t even watch the news hardly anymore and even I know what’s in the bill for the most part. Do the majority of Americans really have no clue that only a small part of this bill is going to COVID & recovery relief and all the rest is going towards unnecessary spending? I wonder what yours and John Daly's thoughts are on the validity and integrity of this recent polling? --ScottyG
I'm in the camp that says most Americans have no idea what's in the bill --beyond that people will be getting money to help them get through the COVID crisis. If you ask Americans if they're in favor of helping people in need, there going to say yes. But if they know what else is in the bill? No way!
Note from John Daly: Hi Scotty. I largely agree with Bernie. I'll add that if this were happening during the Obama era, I'm certain there'd be far more opposition from people on the political right to both the cost of the plan, and the fact that a lot of it has nothing to do with the health crisis. Unfortunately, most righties abandoned all interest in fiscal conservatism during the Trump era, and I'm afraid it will be a while before it returns.
Bernie, First let me say that I’m really enjoying your Patron site, but I must disagree with the assertion that Trump, the person, continues to direct and damage the GOP. I don’t mean to minimize the Georgia effect as you point out in [Monday's column], but the movement that allowed the Trump presidency began long before the “Golden Escalator” announcement. I believe that the forces that propped up Trump are the same forces that increasingly reject “Wokeness’, PC culture and belief that “equality of outcome” is the same as “equality of opportunity”. I believe, Trump, as a figure, will fade, but his policy principle (economic strength, Nationalism and intolerance for “Wokeness”), will persist (in some form) and reshape the GOP and hopefully the US for decades to come. While I never appreciated Trump’s bravado, sometimes you have to whack the lid on a jar to loosen it up to access what’s needed inside. -- George A
I'm not sure we disagree all that much, George. I agree that the movement that allowed Trump preceded Trump himself. He tapped into that discontent. But ... his toxic personality may have been something his fans liked, it was also something most Americans detested. That's why the GOP lost the House; it's why he lost the White House (not an easy feat given that incumbents almost always win); and why in January of this year, he lost Georgia and the Senate. Instead of telling Georgia voters that GOP senators would be a bulwark against Democrat control of government, he told them the vote was rigged -- and then a lot of them sat home on Election Day and gave those 2 seats to Democrats. Trump may have "whacked the lid" as you put it -- but he's responsible for what the progressives will ram down Republican throats for as long as they can.
The filibuster as a mechanism has been eroding over years. Harry Reid got rid of it for confirming Federal judges and Mitch McConnell ditched it for confirming Trump's Supreme Court appointments. It's demise is coming from the increased partisanship and both sides are throwing it away, thus far incrementally. While Republicans hate Democrats spending, they are happy to cut taxes without any concern of deficits. What's missing in your blame-it-all-on-Trump is that we've been heading here for many years. How much longer do you think this can go on? -- John R.
There's been a sensibility that killing the filibuster -- beyond what Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell did regarding judges -- would be going nuclear. Calmer heads have prevailed. But progressives are pushing the Democrat agenda and the moment and they don't care about preserving minority rights. The filibuster has lasted a long time on general legislation. The left wing of the party may very well say, "We've had enough, the GOP won't go along with our left wing ideas, so let's do away with it while we can." Stay tuned.
I get confused about the term filibuster. I thought it was originally a way for a congressperson to stall legislation by giving long speeches. It also seems to mean getting 60 votes in the senate. Does it mean both? --Tony P.
The filibuster, as you correctly say Tony, was a way for Members of Congress to stall legislation by giving long speeches. Then, Senators decided those long speeches weren't necessary -- but the Senate still needed 60 votes to pass legislation. So "filibuster" and "60 votes" don't mean the same thing but they do have the same effect. You're not as confused as you think.
Last weekend's Grammy awards hit an all-time low in the ratings. This seems consistent with every major awards show over the past several years. While some of it is probably from viewers turned off by the political statements made during such shows, I tend to think it's because our culture isn't as enamored with traditional celebrities as it used to be. Perhaps this is because younger generations spend more time on the Internet than they do in front of television, movie screens, and radios. What do you think? --Jen R.
TV ratings are down for all sorts of programs -- and for a variety of reasons. One may very well be that a lot of people don't want to hear political lectures from entertainers (and athletes). But there are so many more things to watch these days. Streaming has cut into traditional TV ratings. But if you give the audience something juicy on traditional TV, they'll tune in. The Oprah interview with Harry and Meghan is testament to that. And yes, once upon a time the younger generation was obsessed with TV. It was their main source of entertainment. Not anymore. A lot of kids almost never watch TV. As you say, Jen, they're too busy doing stuff on the Internet.
One would think with our great science and experience from COVID-19 it could help us to deal with future pandemics. With the politics involved, I am not sure we learned one thing to help us in the future. What’s your take? Asking for one of my golf buddies. -- Tim H.
I'm not sure we learned anything either. But my advice to the experts would be, next time when you assemble a panel cast a wide net. Having doctors decide how we should behave is fine but it's not enough. We need business people and school teachers and psychologists. I hope we learn something like that the next time around.
As for your golf buddy: Tell him that I shoot in the low 70s. I won't go out if it gets any warmer than that. And suggest to him that he should become a subscriber, Tim, as you did. The more the merrier.
Bernie: Wondering if you are looking forward to the first official news conference by Joe Biden? Do you think he will be protected by staff during the event? How do you think he will do? Obviously, the press won't lack displaying proper decorum unlike they did with President Trump by shouting or talking over him or giving their opinions after his responses. Do you think Biden will be asked any tough but serious questions? If you were there, I'd like to know what two or three questions you'd like to ask Biden or think he needs to be asked if you were called upon? Thanks -- Warren
It will be a civil event, Warren. There may be a few "inconvenient" questions but it won't resemble a Trump news conference. I'd ask him why he doesn't believe that his comments about immigration didn't encourage the mess at the border as his critics contend. I'd ask if he really believes in unity why won't his colleagues in Congress compromise on bills to get some Republicans on board. I'd also ask if he thinks that giving relief checks to felons locked up in prison is a good idea and if so, why.
In Iowa's 2nd District,Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks defeated Democrat Rita Hart by six votes in the last election. There were several recounts. The State Board of Canvass ultimately certified Miller-Meeks as the winner and she was provisionally sworn into Congress on Jan 3. Of course Hart has been fighting it all along though she did not file a complaint in an Iowa courtroom, but rather with Congress. Now Nancy Pelosi has gotten involved. She is having the House Administration Committee review the election. When asked is there a chance the election can be overturned, she responded "I respect the work of the committee, we'll see where that takes us, there could be a scenario to that extent." There are five Democrats and three Republicans on the committee. Indeed, we'll see. Good luck Ms Miller-Meeks -- John M.
If Pelosi and Company toss the GOP congresswoman ... they will be making a very big mistake. They'd gain one vote and possibly lose the House in 2 years. It would look like raw, partisan politics at its ugliest.
Bernie: I have started a new book called “Sophomores,” a novel that takes place in Dallas in 1987. The very first scene is a class in Honors English. The teacher asks about Greek heroes and has this to say: “The hero is defined by his journey. A hero isn’t perfect. Every man has flaws that he must confront and overcome. That is the internal quest of the hero.” This really hit home as a commentary of the times, of cancel culture, removing names from schools and buildings, and toppling statues of those perceived to be evil and sinful based on today’s standards. As the author writes, a hero isn’t perfect. In fact, it is in those imperfections that we find his heroism. Life and our American democracy are a journey, and if a man or woman contributes greatly to moving those institutions forward, he or she should be celebrated, no matter how flawed or human the person. “A hero is defined by his journey.” Shouldn't that be the standard in any city in America? -- Steve R.
Don't let the cancel culture thugs know about this book. They'd read, "A hero is defined by his journey" ... and say why only HIS journey? What about HER journey? Then they'd say this is a book by a white supremacist glorifying a male dominated culture. And then ... they'd put pressure on the publisher to stop distributing the book and on book stores to stop selling it. Otherwise, I agree with what you say, Steve.
Recently a liberal white female law professor named Sandra Sellers was fired from Georgetown Law School because she was lamenting the fact that so many black students underperform regularly and they are not up to par and are totally unprepared for college. Of course the woke scolds came after her & the other professor she was conversing with for making such reprehensible “racist” comments. Reality check: there was NOTHING racist about their comments in my opinion. If anything I think she was distressed because she was seeing that the liberal school systems in the U.S. don’t prepare black students for life or university and that the politically incorrect opinions of a lot of people actually have some validity to them.
I’m not glad she lost her job ( though I see the irony), however I have to wonder why it’s easier to fire somebody for stating some admittedly uncomfortable FACTS rather than actually try to help minority students in the first place by getting rid of politically correct social engineering notions that benefits NOBODY. What are Your thoughts on this and how do these Zoom calls get leaked out in the first place? --“Wasted Academic Elitist” Regards From The Emperor
Dear Royal One: It's easier to fire somebody for stating uncomfortable facts or opinions than it is to actually help students who need help. And the bonus is that it makes the woke crowd feel better about themselves. Never underestimate the need for leftists to show how good they are. Nothing makes them feel better than showing off their good racial manners, a term coined by Shelby Steele. That sums it up, I think.
I'm writing about the brouhaha over the Meghan Markle interview w/ Oprah, specifically with Meghan's claims that members of the royal family are racists. Having watched both The Talk w/ Sharon Osbourne and Good Morning Britain w/ Piers Morgan - I'm confused... It seems Piers Morgan doesn't believe Meghan Markle's claim that the royal family have concerns about what skin tone her newborn baby's skin will be - thus making them racists. His guest "Alex" took exception to Piers skepticism with accusations of "covert racism". Heard the same accusation again when I watched The Talk. Co-host Sheryl Underwood took Sharon Osbourne to task over her "covert racism" simply because she came to the defense of Piers Morgan the day after he walked off the show. Seems that Sheryl, Alex and millions of others, believe all white people are racist whether they realize it or not, and they need to be "white-shamed" into believing it. What's your take? BTW: Same screwy situation with that poor Georgetown law professor, David Baston. He lost his job because he didn't commit hari-kari when another professor on a Zoom call said something off-color (no pun intended). Seems Professor Baston was designated "collaterally racist". -- Hank G.
Rather than going into what Alex said and what Sheryl said, let me offer up a general statement: If you acknowledge that you're a racist, then obviously you are a racist. If you say you're not a racist, that to some is proof that you are a racist. Or to put it another way: Heads I win, tails you lose.
[Regarding this week's "Off the Cuff,"] you da man! Totally agree with you. Amazon ought to be ashamed for censoring the field that built its wealth. Bezos ought to be railing against book banning! Money has gone to his head I fear. --Dwight B.
Thanks for the kind words, Dwight. When the cancel culture thugs go after the people currently doing the cancelling ... maybe then they'll wake up. Revolutions often end with the revolutionaries going after their own. As I said in the Off the Cuff: It can't come soon enough to suit me.
Bernie, Who's more difficult to work with... Bill O'Reilly or John Daly?
Sorry, I only know one of those two names. Who is this Bill O'Reilly person?
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