Skip to main content

tv   QA Holman Jenkins  CSPAN  December 23, 2018 10:59pm-12:04am EST

10:59 pm
radio app. night, on the theunicators, the book, fourth age, about artificial intelligence and robotics. >> think we are at this point where we are creating a couple of new technologies that are going to change the trajectory of the human race. they are artificial intelligence seerobots by which we action. when you build machines that can act for us, what next for us? what do we do? watch the communicators monday night at 8:00 eastern, on c-span2. >> coming up on c-span, q&a with wall street journal columnist holman jenkins.
11:00 pm
discussing his work in politics during the trump era. at midnight, prime minister's questions. the last of the year from the british house of commons. after that, a discussion of race and racism in america. ♪ >> this week, wall street journal columnist holman jenkins. he talks about his work in politics in america during the trump era. host: holman jenkins, when did you decide you wanted to be a writer? guest: i think i knew early on. my teachers identified in maine -- in me a talent for writing that they call journalistic. my father was a political science professor.
11:01 pm
our house is full of books. my mother said i got the writing gene from her. that might be true. she was very much a reader. host: where did you grow up? guest: in philadelphia. host: when did you get the first tent that writing would be your life? was it high school or college? guest: i think it was in second or third grade. they had us wrote an essay about what if our shoes walked off without us. and i wrote something so charming that they published it. i told them i was going to put on my sneaky sneakers and sneak off after them. they thought that was brilliant for a second grader and told me i should be a writer. host: where did you go to college? guest: hobart in upstate new york. host: and then what? guest: i moved to boston for a while with my college cronies. none of us had any money so we did whatever we could. once i got enough of a nest egg, i applied to journalism school.
11:02 pm
so i spent a year in chicago. host: when did you know you wanted to be an opionist? guest: i knew early on. i aspire to be the kind of writer. host: where do you get your bases? guest: i remember the 1968 presidential election. my dad was a new dealer and democrat. we went up to the humphrey headquarters and got all of the bumper stickers. i thought the and made more sense given the chaos of the time. so i kind of diverged early. i saw some political show about regulations and how they don't make the airlines effective.
11:03 pm
that is what i thought. host: how much credit do you think jimmy credit gets for being a deregulator? guest: none. he gets a lot for me, though. he talked about what a disgrace the tax code was. i think jimmy carter in a lot of ways was a businessman and understood the domestic economy. people on my side of the aisle are reviled because of the cold war and the soviets going into afghanistan. but in those days, you could be a deregulatory and a democrat.
11:04 pm
ted kennedy was the one who helps the initial hearings about why airline regulations were failing and how the regulation be better for the american people. host: how would you characterize the democrats today on deregulation and why? guest: they are pro-regulation because they are pro-big government. i subscribe to the public choice school of economics. who is supporting them? i think the democrats don't have a philosophy now. they are the indiscriminate defender of big government programs, whether they are working or not. that is what obama ran on in 2012. he was the protector of every big government program. and mitt romney was a threat to them. i think that is what the democrats have become. their constituents are so important. unions. host: what about the republicans? guest: there were ideas.
11:05 pm
look what trump is doing. he is not a man of ideas. he is creating a new coalition. you cannot have entitlements if you do not have growth to pay for them. that is why medicare for all is such a loser for the democrats. all of these 65 or older voters think it will hurt them if you start to give medicare to everyone else. host: you say you are not the republican. guest: i voted for the first time this year since 1980. all during my career as a journalist, i did not vote. i was a republican leaning democrat.
11:06 pm
now i am a republican leaning independent. >> why no voting? guest: i was moving around constantly. and i thought i get my say 364 days a year. i felt like i did not need to participate. i had enough of a sense of participation from what i did. also since i started writing the column, i had to write it on tuesday. that means writing in early, before the election and a second column after we know who won.
11:07 pm
host: where can people find your writing? guest: on the op-ed page of the wall street journal. host: i want to go through some of your columns and read back to you a couple of things and let you expand on them. this is one from saturday, november 3. the headline is we are a homicidal species. do you remember it? guest: that is not a controversial statement. they have done studies and they see that human beings, unlike other mammals, are six more times likely to kill their own. during hunter gatherer and prehistoric times, archaeologists tell us that homicide was the main form of death. host: what led you to say this? guest: the pittsburgh synagogue shooting. and the attempted bomb attacks.
11:08 pm
people say this kind of thing does not happen in america. it happens a lot. it has to do more with our sense of being human them with our politics. host: you said that at least those readers are well served to on hearing of last week's pittsburgh synagogue murders, said to themselves yes but how does this affect max boot of the washington post? guest: he wrote a column saying that this is not the america i recognize. i just did not know how he could find the life of our country from the beginning to today, there is a history of showing up and killing defenseless people. whether it was native americans.
11:09 pm
or the french and english fighting each other. these mass shootings, we make it easy for these things to happen, but they obviously come from human nature. we are in many ways a homicidal, insane species toward each other. >> how do we make these things easy to happen? guest: anyone can get a hold of a automatic rifle. gun control is a tricky issue. but nobody is going to say these are not the instruments used in these atrocities. host: do you have an answer to that? guest: you cannot cut off access to guns enough to stop these. we seem to be much more relaxed about surveillance. i think the technology is within reach that we can have public surveillance over public spaces. use face recognition to know who
11:10 pm
is coming and going. and use social media presence to know people are threats. how do you do that and protect our civil liberties? that is a big question. that the chinese are far down this road already. they have a public ranking scale. you get the merits if you jaywalk. that business is coming. if you show up at a store, they are monitoring what counters you linger in front of. it is not like this stuff is not going to be developed and used. how we can use it to protect ourselves better may be a worthwhile question. host: from time to time, you take a little shot at some of your journal as competitors. " and unconscious assumption of people who populate sunday
11:11 pm
morning talk shows goes like this. the arc of history is pointing toward human perfection. we will get there when we have freed ourselves from corrupting ideologies and believes, much like the specimens on sunday morning talk shows have already done." explain that. guest: i kind of did my total into deep water philosophizing there. that goes back to rousseau. i think a lot of people think human nature can be perfected with the right kind of institutions. my feeling is that human nature will always be what it is. we have to learn how to live with it to make ourselves say from each other. host: what is a columnist do everyday? guest: different columnist do different things. i am not one who runs from tv studio to to tv studio or gets paid for speeches. i read a lot. i listen to what people say. i write multiple drafts. i have lots of ideas going on.
11:12 pm
i am looking for the thing that i say that needs saying that won't be set if i do not say it. host: how do you get there. give us an insight. where do you hang every day? guest: sometimes i call into meetings are go to editorial board meetings. but i spend most of my time reading and thinking and talking to people whose ideas i want to plum. host: how do you know you are having an impact? guest: i am not sure i am. i don't know. the world is so noisy. there are so many voices out there on cable tv, on blogs. i'm not sure i'm having an impact. as long as think i am serving
11:13 pm
the purpose that i just described, saying the things that i think needs to be said and no one else will say it, i think i am earning my keep. host: what is it like to be on the editorial board of the wall street journal? how many people are on the board? how often do you meet? how often do you write editorials that do not have your name on it? guest: i have not written an editorial in a long time. i am the only columnist who writes two columns a week. i.e. mail my colleagues all the time to call their attention to things. i am feeding into the gestation of ideas. i cannot tell you how may people are on the editorial board. they meet on tuesday morning. i have not been to one of those meetings in a long time. i am doing my own thing now. paul does a marvelous job of setting the editorial page. i'm not sure i would add much if i was there anyway. my columns put ideas into circulation.
11:14 pm
the style goes back 100 years. we like to say it is one of the few editorial pages and the world that actually sells newspapers. it is a great institution to be part of. it has so little changed from its core mission. from the ideas of free people and free markets as the best way forward for human civilization. host: what is the difference between the journal's editorial writing and presentation and the new york times or the washington post? had he explain it? guest: there was a time when most newspapers try to have conservatives and liberals. we have a philosophy and you
11:15 pm
would not want to come to work there unless you really bought into the general philosophy of free people and free markets and economic growth. host: do you get feedback in any way on the columns the right -- write? guest: sure, i get the mouse and people. comments. host: in the recent past, what is one -- guest: anything with trump in the headline. you really take your career in your hands if you do not write about trump right now. there is a real appetite to understand this unusual presidency and this unusual time. host: you said, " like any journalist, i keep a list of every off-color poorly timed thing trump has said." guest: don't we all? he is an agent of chaos. to my mind, there was no one who
11:16 pm
ever ran for president who is more known to the public been president trump. he has been known as a character and a bit of a blowhard. and a person who ethically, is not presidential material, because of the way he carries on his personal life and highrolling business ventures and all of those bankruptcies. people knew who they -- he was when they elected him. i am not as offended as others about all of these off-color things he says. that is who they elected. that is who they wanted. i did not think he would make it very far in the primary process. but i thought it was interesting what voters saw him.
11:17 pm
that this guy, this business man would come in and be very disruptive. host: what do you think israel -- his real politics are? guest: i don't know. i think his politics are primarily he wants to be the center of attention. i do not think he is a racist. i think he looks at people as either friends or enemies. and you can change categories are easily. the america first thing is an idea that i think he holds dear. that our country has been shortchanged with dealings with the rest of the world. and trade policy and immigration policy, in the minds of many of his supporters in middle america, this has hurt them. host: you closed out that column
11:18 pm
by saying, "the abundant paradox of trump is the way he entices so many others to shred their reputations. his political existence is built on the media to rise mechanically, predictably, to debate every time/" guest: isn't that the case? this whole jim acosta business. do you think that is making trump unhappy? he loves that. he likes having the press as an enemy. it works not only with his base but it is part of who has been his whole life. he is the subject matter of every hour of cable tv on three tv channels. host: the head of cnn was quoted as saying if we are not talking about donald trump, the audience is not watching us.
11:19 pm
guest: it has been an unbelievable blockbuster. host: what do you think of television journalism? guest: i would be the last one to ask because i have stopped watching pretty much. host: when did you stop watching? guest: in the last year and a half or so. i like the business channels. it is what everybody says. it is exaggeration and polarization. it is not really where the american people are. it is entertainment. i am more it's that people out there do take a step too seriously. like people who go into synagogues and send mail bombs to presidents.
11:20 pm
-- two democrats and that sort of thing. but i think it is just an entertainment business now. host: " america has yet to take stock of what happened in 2016. and the strange circumstances that make mr. trump and answer -- an instrument for refreshing our political culture. a place to start is recognizing his singular contribution. making new things sayable." guest: to question nato, which was so sacrosanct, we are basically the stand and military for all of these countries. that has to change. we cannot have people drawing us into wars that they do not want to fight. i think trump's are successful with that message. on climate change, we are at a dead-end. liberals are committed to policies that are expensive and
11:21 pm
bureaucratic that have no affect. the whole basis of this is if we have these expensive and trivial policies at home, other countries will somehow have an international agreement. that has proved not to be workable. with pulling out of the paris agreement, trump got rid of all of that. that clears the field for something more sensible down the road. host: if you were to advise people where to get their minds active besides your column, who do you respect? is there a list? guest: there is no list. i read a lot of things. the london review of books. george will is a columnist i find regularly interesting. there are not many others i would say that about.
11:22 pm
andrew mccarthy writing in the national review. well worth reading. there are a bunch of people out there. a blog called streetwise professor. there are so many smart people out there writing and doing it on their own time. the hard part is finding out who is an interesting person on a certain subject. host: when you are younger and in college, whether people you followed? philosophers? economists? people you trusted. guest: i was a big gary wills fan for years. but then he became a virulent
11:23 pm
left-winger. i used to read memoirs a lot. i was interested in journalists and the lives journalists led. those things sparked my interests. but i am not someone who has a guru. i read books. i have so many books open that i never finished. i cannot keep track of all of them. host: what kind of book are you most likely to read? guest: a biography. i cannot remember the last time i read a book and to end. host: back to your columns. "a loophole that trump uses it is a tax cut to the altar wealthy -- ultra wealthy.
11:24 pm
it also happens to be a favorite of the sulzberger family, the owners of the new york times." guest: the times had done a big expose on his tax avoidance. what they called a giant gift to the wealthy in the form of tax avoidance on inheritance, the new york times also uses that to keep control of the family that runs the newspaper. to hand stock to their heirs to make sure it is not taxed away from them. we have this inheritance tax system that would break up all of these family businesses
11:25 pm
because they would have to sell to pay the that -- taxes. we want to say we are taxing the rich in this punitive way. but we don't really want to so we carve out all of these loopholes. the times reporting said the trump family was using the same experts is all the rich families were using. host: what is the difference in the power between the new york times and the wall street journal? guest: i think the new york times is very influential in new york. the wall street journal is influential everywhere. i will put it this way. host: "mr. trump is not really a conservative. for 40 years he deliberately peddled an image of himself that
11:26 pm
as garish, high living playboy businessman. what a colleague once said about him was that his basic value is making money, money, money, and collecting women." guest: that is the donald trump that the american people knew. they understood him not as a person who had strong policy ideas or was going to put his imprint on the country and some structured way. he was an agent of chaos. and they had some touching faith in our institutions and our leads and the press to recognize the message photos were work to shape this moment into a realignment of our political system and parties in a way that would go forward and deal with the problems american people
11:27 pm
want dealth with. from day one the effort was to delegitimize trump. host: what do you expect in the next two years, with the democrats in control of the house? guest: i think the productive moment of the trump presidency is over. and it will be nasty. or he is a deal maker. he has been open to some interesting deals with democrats. we might see that donald trump coming back. he and chuck schumer go way back. who knows what might happen. that is why i was hesitant to give him the presidency. you don't know where he is going to go. host: you say you have to write about them all the time because that is what people want to read. how often do you write about him
11:28 pm
host: guest: i am a columnist, so i can write about whatever i want. but there is so much interesting thing to be said. there is also so much when that needs to be leaned against coming from the rest of the media. host: give us an example of what you need to lean against. guest: this whole thing with russia. it is a scheme to delegitimize this important representative figure that the voters gave us because they were tried to tell us something. there is an aspect of it. now i have a few people who are on board with me on this. but the most important way russia influenced the election was in jim comey's decision to intervene.
11:29 pm
that may be the single moment that changed the outcome of the election. there is polling data that suggests that changed enough votes to give trump the presidency. there are a lot of people who say that. what has never been understood is how much comey's original action was driven by this piece of russian intelligence that we still have not been told any details on. the press reported a little bit on it. comey alluded to it a little bit in his memoir. there is a classified annex that we are not allowed to see that discusses russian intelligence and its role in sparking comey's
11:30 pm
behavior. adam schiff, who will be the chief of the house intelligence committee, has admitted that if the russians had a major impact on the election, this was the most important with. -- important way they affected the election, by how they affected jim comey. that is a story the media ignores. host: jonathan chait has written about you that you flipped on russia completely as soon as donald trump was elected. guest: i do not know him or what he says about me. i was an early critic of putin. he had bigger ideas, this was in all through this trump era, i 2005. have continued to write about putin. people don't need to hear
11:31 pm
anymore that he is a threat to america and a threat to the world order. i have not flipped on russia. that is not true at all. people write these things on the spur of the moment. it is completely meaningless. host: back to your column. "a column like last saturday's will catch fire on twitter and then 24 hours later abusive emails start showing up in my inbox from people who did not read it and probably did not have access to the journal pay wall. often these emails quote one line out of context." what is the pay wall? guest: it is a pet peeve of mine. it is what we have to do to pay the bills.
11:32 pm
people should pay for it. but there was a time when the opinion page was outside the pay wall. i could write about any darn thing i wanted and i had everyone on the internet as a potential reader. i could pick a relatively esoteric subject and justified my existence by getting readers. now there are 2.5 million journal subscribers. a new have to attend to what they are interested in pretty closely. host: why don't you read twitter? guest: i do not have time. i thought about it early. i signed up. i sent a few tweets. but i realized it could be a time suck. host: what kind of impact do you think it has when the president tweets and that people are tweeting? guest: i think it is magnificent for the president to be able to
11:33 pm
control the nation's agenda without being able to get out of his bathrobe in the morning. he can get up in the middle of the night and send a tweet and that is all we are going to be talking about the next day. i have encouraged them to stop doing that. but it is a powerful tool. host: "finally we come to the compulsive splitting of all things and people between good and bad. it is seen as a symptom of borderline personality disorder. to such people as often seems the central purpose of mental life. now it's widely understood to be the way of the human brain." guest: the first two things come from psychology. a lot of the media, a blogger talks about it is all about raising and lowering ideas and institutions and people and status.
11:34 pm
who should be thought well of. who should be thought badly of. there awful lot of punditry about that. it does not interest me. it is partly a schtick. it gets people through their day. but it is so darned boring. host: where do you live in new york? guest: the danbury area. host: you have a family? guest: no. no kids. host: how long have you been married and where did you meet your wife? guest: i met her in 2001 in new york at a party. i saw her and thought, beautiful woman. host: what does she do?
11:35 pm
guest: she works for an industrial gas company. they manufacture are, nitrogen, co2 and ship it all around the world for industrial uses. host: if you write two columns a week, is there a way to describe the one you really enjoy? how do you know if you have been successful? guest: there was a study that showed writers are the most neurotic of the creative classes. i don't think any writer is ever truly happy with his or her work. sometimes i go back five years later and read a column and think damn, that was a good column. that is the biggest reward i get. years ago, a colleague of mine came in one day. he had been on the subway late the night before and saw a copy of the newspaper on the seat.
11:36 pm
he said there was a hole torn out were my column was. if somebody thought it was worth tearing out and taking him and showing to somebody, that that's only makes me feel good. host: what impact you think it has when you go to college campuses and the professors are saying to read the new york times how often do you know from your own experience to they say read the wall street journal? guest: i think a lot of economics professors say to read the wall street journal. i do not worry about it as much as other people. host: "victim's status has become a prized status in our society. it is a base from where to launch assaults on the dignity
11:37 pm
and equanimity of others when the need arises. it is also a defense against such assaults that can land on anyone at anytime." guest: getting back to the university, that is certainly true of the university culture that elizabeth warren came up in. when she decided it was to her advantage to say she was native american. host: speaking about the media,
11:38 pm
you talk about nbc and the story about megyn kelly. i know this was some time ago, but why did you want to write about that? you just had a look on your face that said you were disgusted. guest: there has been this upwelling of very public firings of people in big media corporations for saying things that are not slightly or remotely intended to be offensive. but were not worded in the best way. the social mobbing thing, where if you tweet something that is ill advised and all of a sudden you are despised around the
11:39 pm
world, that has spread into our companies too. you have to throw those people overboard. host: what do you think of the salaries that people on television are making? guest: as a free market person, people are paid based on how much money they can make for somebody else. that is how it works. no one is handed a chunk of money because they are loved or because they can generate revenue. host: 2018 and 2017 have had big impacts on big names in new york city. and television, whether it is matt lauer or charlie rose or les moonves. what do you think? what impact will this have? guest: hopefully at some point we will have clear lines drawn
11:40 pm
on what is except a board is acceptable behavior. a lot of this stuff borders close on rape, and rape should be prosecuted. but you do not want to get into this place where anybody want to get back at, you just accuse them of sexual misbehavior. host: you write a lot about tax. codes, loopholes. what do you think of the overall the code? guest: if the wall street journal has been known for one thing, it is supply-side economics. if you tax something, you discourage it. if you tax work, you'll get less work. if you tax investments and risk-taking, you'll get less of
11:41 pm
it. i prefer a tax code where the rates are low and there are no loopholes. that is elementary good government going back 100 years. host: "the tax code isn't just loopholes and gray areas. and intelligent person might wonder why it has so many features that work across purposes. unfortunately, a lot of people have an interest in a complicated tech system, politicians most of all." guest: i was writing about why trump and his father worked so -- went to search contortions not to have their company taken away from them by a 40% estate tax. politicians love to be seen and heard whacking the rich. that is what the public wants.
11:42 pm
but you do not actually want the consequences of taxes on productive behavior, because then you will not get the productive behavior. you will not get the new buildings and the long hours that people put in. i am sorry it has to be that way. we know what a good tax code is. low rates. no loopholes. host: "once a politician was honest about this. when obama said he favored high taxes on the rich. we should applaud him. if all politicians defended their preferences so honestly, voters surely would be able to make better decisions." guest: it is a clear contrast to
11:43 pm
bernie sanders, who offers all of these pie in the sky schemes and says we can pay for them by taxing the rich. obama at least was essentially confirming the supply-side thesis. that these high taxes are economically destructive because he favored them anyways to make a moral statement. host: net neutrality. guest: oh no. do we have to talk about this? it was such a big issue for so long but not if has dropped off the radar. it is irrelevant. host: you wrote a lot about the former head of the federal chair of communications. tumblr.
11:44 pm
why -- tom wheeler? why? guest: he is the head of an independent commission that was created in the early part of the last century to get politics out of the business of deciding what rules should apply to businesses and how their resources should be allocated. he was well down the road and try to work out a net neutrality compromise that would satisfy the people on the left but also preserve the golden goose of our internet. but that he abandoned the plan overnight because obama decided, going into the election, that he wanted to throw his full weight behind a retrograde definition of net neutrality that took us back in the 1930's. host: who really wanted net neutrality? guest: i don't think anybody really wanted it. i think companies like netflix used the political side to get leverage.
11:45 pm
it was a political battle because netflix did not want to have to pay for the transmission infrastructure that its users have. but now netflix has lost all interest in net neutrality. those two industries that were at loggerheads are now partners. host: in 2014, you wrote, "let's have a moment of political truth. mr. obama does not give one care for the metatron atrocity crowd -- net neutrality crowd. he has gone to the place prison -- presidents sometimes go, where america and its people and guys are a small indistinct."
11:46 pm
guest: people idolize obama but in many ways he was a typical politician. some things he said were untrue and meant to stir people up and satisfy his base. kind of like trump sending the army to defend the border. it is just a stunt. host: you said he said things that were not true. why is it, if you contrast the way many television networks covered obama than how they cover trump, why is that? guest: they liked obama. he played the game.
11:47 pm
he knew what kind of things you can say that are not true in which you cannot. trump plays the game well in a different way. he wants to be the guy who is constantly not playing by the media's rules. a completely different shctick but they are both good politicians. >> you've written about sears, general motors, and tesla. let's talk about tesla. you said believers had nothing to blame but themselves for the bubble. why did you say that? guest: it is impossible to justify tesla's stock price on the kind of money you could make selling cars, even electric cars. in that column i talked about tesla's market value in relation to each car it produced. tesla is not priced like a car company. it is priced like apple.
11:48 pm
like a technology company that is going to deliver something magical in the future that we cannot even define. and the earnings should justify that stock price. they cannot come from the car business. host: why not? guest: you cannot make enough money on cars. it is a very competitive business. there are giant carmakers out there who are capable of making cars that are just as good. you do not get the 40% profit margin you get on selling
11:49 pm
software. or the 60% margin you get on selling google search. these are businesses where there is no marginal costs to expanding the product. you never get that in the car business. host: "in a real world, of course, the seldom happens. businesses keep doing what they know how to do. making small adjustments to fend off competitors and securing a future. eventually, all businesses fail." guest: people think ge is some kind of miracle because it has been around for 100 years. 100 years is not a long time. think about new york restaurants. people close restaurants when they are at their peak and take the money and go. and open up another restaurant. businesses are not meant to be forever. >> the property is sold to somebody else.
11:50 pm
people complain about all of the mergers and acquisitions. and the disassembly of these mergers companies are constantly reshaping themselves in response to market signals. there is nothing permanent about business. you think ge has been around forever, but it has been many different companies at many different times. host: how much does a person have to do with failure and success in business? guest: it makes all the difference in the world. it is also a lot of luck. there are a number of variables that are so important that are beyond any one person's control. but if you have the eye for opportunity and make the right choice, sometimes it is like
11:51 pm
flipping a coin. you can create an apple. host: you have been writing a column since 1992? guest: actually since 1996. host: what did being in hong kong due to your thinking? guest: i knew it was an important story. just the sheer size of it, the energy of it, to westerners, the sense that it was familiar and yet their culture was so different. their history was so different. it was a little bit daunting. it made me think i am never going to be able to take on india because china enough is a challenge. it was a fascinating time to be there. 1994 and 1995. before the handover. the end of the british rule is coming. all of the culture and the politics and everybody is scrambling after their futures.
11:52 pm
host: does the u.s. have to worry about being number one? does that matter to you? guest: the things that we do well, we should keep wanting to do well. which is innovating and being open to new ideas and business and creating new businesses. i think it is so deeply and our culture and our dna that we can hold onto it forever if we do the right thing. i do not know if we're going to be the biggest. we will not be the biggest in terms of gdp. that does not matter. we can still create large amounts of wealth for our people if we hold onto that entrepreneurial nature. host: can you give a definition for artificial intelligence? guest: it is making decisions for us better than we can make for ourselves. host: translates that. who makes it.
11:53 pm
where does it get made? guest: it is already happening in your car. you step on the gas and there that makes a decision about how much power is going to go to the four wheels and a four-wheel-drive. i write a lot about elon musk and he is a doomsayer who says artificial intelligence will someday be our master. we will be to our computers like our cat is to us. we will be its pet. i do not buy that. there is huge potential in artificial intelligence for good and ill. host: why have you been so fascinated with elon musk? guest: he is a fascinating dude. he has created these two companies doing spectacular things. he is a little bit off the wall. i love spacex.
11:54 pm
you need private companies competing to provide the services that nasa wants to. he is doing an excellent job of that. electric cars are great for people who want electric cars. is is an abomination that we subsidize them or treat them as a solution for a climate problem. his reliance on subsidies and politics annoys me. but he understands the world we live in. host: would you buy an electric car? guest: it does not make much sense for me. i do not drive that much. i have motorcycles, and i do not want to have an electric motorcycle. we need a car that will just run and run and run for 12 hours.
11:55 pm
we do not have time to recharge. host:host: what is the origin of your first name? guest: it came from my father. he had an uncle who owned a bread company. he was an enterprising guy. host: when did you get interested in motorcycles and why? guest: it happens when you are a kid. my aunt took me to bermuda once and i hitched a ride on a vespa. i was hooked. my cousin had a honda when i was 12 in florida and put me on the back and took me down the interstate at some ridiculous rate of speed. host: how often are you on one? guest: daily, if i can. if the weather is suitable and i can get out.
11:56 pm
host: can somebody tell you no? you cannot write that? guest: no one has ever said no. there are times when people find my use of metaphor a little bit colorful for a family paper. it is usually some person who is highly responsible and i respect and i will make an adjustment. host: have you always been a metaphor person? guest: i think so. host: why? guest: i think my brain has always been spatial. i see things in moving parts. host: do you have a book in the future? guest: i do not think there is. i don't believe in packaging your columns in a book. but it seems like there are enough of my trump columns and they tell an important enough story that i think about doing
11:57 pm
that. other than that, if i retire someday and get a take historical research project that i am interested in, i might write a book like that. otherwise, i feel like i get so many readers from what i do in the journal. i get so much satisfaction from it at i do not have the compulsion to write a book. host: if you met someone who could not stand anything about donald trump, what is the one or two things you would tell them from their perspective to think about? guest: the things that you hate about donald trump are also the things that his fansite about them. people think i disapprove of x in trump, those people must approve of that. that is not true. they complain about his vulgarity. they complain about him talking too much. they like him as an agent of chaos. going into 2015, it looked like
11:58 pm
we would have a candidate named bush and a candidate named clinton. that era is gone now. there is only so much you can expect from a president. this one candidate has cleared the field. that is worth the price of admission. host: can people read your column anywhere but behind the paywall? guest: there are ways to get around the pay wall, but is not my duty to tell you about that. i would urge you to subscribe to the wall street journal and pay for it. that is how my salary gets paid. there has to be an economic basis to it, so you should pay for it. host: you can read his column wednesdays and saturdays and the wall street journal.
11:59 pm
thank you very much. guest: my pleasure. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ >> for free transcripts are to give us your comments, visit us at qanda.org. available as c-span podcasts. ♪
12:00 am
>> the united states senate, uniquely american institution, legislating and carrying out constitutional duties since tet 89. second,sday, generally c-span takes you inside the senate. history ofk at its conflict and compromise, with original interviews. >> we argue about things and kicking them around and having a thoroughly is american thing. >> key moments in history. and unprecedented access, allowing us to bring cameras into the senate chamber during a session. follow the evolution of the senate into the modern era. from advice and consent to their role in impeachment proceedings, and investigations. the senate, conflict and
12:01 am
compromise. . c-span original production explore the history, tradition, and roles of this uniquely american institution. 2,mieres wednesday, january at 8 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. online toe to go learn more about the program and watch original, full-length interviews with senators. view farewell speeches from long serving members, and take a tour inside the senate chamber. the old senate chamber, and other exclusive locations. >> christmas day on c-span, at 11:45 a.m. eastern, a look back on this year's memorial services for first lady barbara bush, senator john mccain, and president george h.w. bush. ,hen at 3:30 p.m. a.m. eastern
12:02 am
the future of the u.s. military. at 8:00, former president barack state former secretary of james baker, an historian john meacham on the u.s.'s historians role in the world. >> people call washington. even our adversaries expect us to solve problems. and expect us to keep things running. >> and at 9:00, a conversation with entrepreneurs on women in corporate america. >> we know that women's networks tend to look very female heavy, men's networks tend to look very male heavy. that might be fine in your first position right out of school. who do you think when swift the network by the time you get to senior leadership? >> watch tuesday, christmas day, on c-span. >> the government shutdown will continue past the christmas holiday, as the senate and house have ended their sessions. businessative
12:03 am
scheduled in either body until next thursday. as always, watch live house coverage on c-span, and the .enate, on c-span2 >> during the final question time of the year, british prime minister theresa may took questions on the economy, funding for u.k. public services, and brexit negotiations. labor party leader jeremy corbyn pressed prime minister may on her leadership in preparing the brexit negotiations. >> order, questions for the prime minister. >> question number one. >> thank you, mr. speaker. >> this friday marks 30 years since flight 103, the biggest loss of life froa

9 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on