The Big Talk takes a look at Biden 2024, Matthew McConaughey’s possible run for Texas governor, a self-driving car from Apple, and the PA Senate committee that might make a difference

CHAMBERSBURG – Every weekday morning on First News, the local – live morning radio information show with Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen features the big talk topics and opinion from local Attorney Clint Barkdoll.

On November 22, the Big Talk discussed Biden’s run for the presidency in 2024, Matthew McConaughey’s run for Texas governor, a self-driving car that is actually on the way and changes to how amendments are publicized in PA that could actually help.

Talk of Biden 2024 already? No way

Way. The Washington Post had a recent article where officials are already discussing Biden’s run in 2024.

How can that possibly be?

Barkdoll said, “I see no way he runs for reelection. I think that’s what they’re saying and putting out there because he doesn’t want to be rendered a lame duck already, so they’ll wait until about his third year in office to say he’s not running. He turned 79 a few days ago. There’s clearly all sorts of issues here domestically. His poll numbers keep sagging. That Washington Post article, they also talk about how the insiders are very concerned about Kamala Harris. They’re looking for an alternate candidate. Pete Buttigieg’s name keeps emerging in some of those discussions. I just don’t see how the Democrats could get behind him to run for reelection. I realize he’s putting that out there, but I just don’t see it happening.”

Could Matthew McConaughey make a run for Governor of Texas?

Matthew McConaughey has been teasing a run for Texas governor for a long time. Just last week he did a New York Times interview again suggesting he was serious about it.

Over the weekend, Dallas Morning News had a poll showing McConaughey blowing out opponents in head-to-head match ups, suggesting he would beat Governor Abbott by 8 points and that he would beat Beto O’Rourke by 2-1.

He’s got money and advisors that may very well push him into the race. But as a Republican or Democrat? It’s hard to say.

Barkdoll said, “He called himself an extremist centrist without saying which party label he would run under. Is it possible he would even run as an Independent or a third party? Keep an eye on this story. Texas is a huge state. Two of our recent presidents have come from Texas. If he runs, he’ll need to make an announcement probably in the next two to three months.”

Jansen said, “This Dallas Morning News article, I have to laugh when it says Democratic voters believe O’Rourke is the best opportunity for Democrats to break a state-wide losing streak that dates back to 1998. I can’t think of a more ineffectual person. He got a lot of money and attention and oh, he looked like Kennedy.”

Ryan added, “Look I’m getting my teeth done. Look I’m getting my hair done. I’m regular person Beto.”

“This is their best chance?” Jansen asked. “To me, that’s stunning.”

Barkdoll pointed out, “He doubled down on those gun comments again last week. Even though Texas has become a little more purple, they’re still a red state. Historically, you think to the extent there were Texas Democrats Lloyd Bentsen, Ann Richards, these were much more moderate-type characters. O’Rourke is very liberal. McConaughey, it’s not clear. If he ran as a Democrat, it’s really not clear what his positions would be. Generally he’s saying he’s very centrist, but he’s also leaving the door open apparently to even run as a Republican. So a lot still to be filled in on this Texas governor’s race.”

What do you think about a self-driving car with no steering wheel? It could seriously happen

Apple announced this weekend that they are rapidly developing a self-driving autonomous vehicle. Rumors have been around for years and it looks like they are true.

Not only did Apple announce it, they’re saying these Apple cars could be on the highways by 2025 at the latest.

Barkdoll said, “Their stock is surging. The thinking is, Apple is so integrated in everybody’s lives, corporate world, personal worlds. These cars would be integrating all of that Apple technology. So the electric vehicles, the self-driving cars, we know this is a very big thing on the horizon, but Apple now entering this space, they likely become instantly a dominant player.”

Ryan pointed out, “There’s a new survey out that has found just how addicted Americans are to phones, even using them in places like weddings, funerals and the bathroom.”

The poll by Solitaired said 99% said they use their phone while watching TV, 88% while walking on the sidewalk, 78% while at a concert, 73% while walking their dog, 42% say they look at the phone while crossing the street, 1/3 while biking or skating.

Ryan said, “I don’t know how we pull back from this, but it’s the very people in the tech oligarchs, the Bill Gates, the Jeff Bezos that won’t let their kids touch this crap and they’ve got us addicted to it and now we’re going to be into one of those cars? God help us.”

Barkdoll said, “I’ve just been anecdotally for years making the observation, walk into a restaurant and you see a table with a group of people, they’re all looking down at their phones. They’re not interacting with each other. That, to me, is a signal of how these phones have infiltrated everybody’s lives and I’m not sure there’s any going back. You think about this now in a car. Man, it’s hard to even imagine where this thing would go with the idea that this would be fully integrated in an Apple vehicle.”

Jansen said, “I heard about this years ago. I remember one of the people in the forefront of working on these self-driving cars, he was hoping his son would never get a driver’s license. I think he was thinking by 2016 this would happen. So obviously we’re a little bit behind that. His prediction was people will just never even learn to drive. They’ll just be subject to these kind of forms of transportation.”

Barkdoll said, “If you can imagine this, this Apple car, they are saying that it may not even have a steering wheel. It is totally autonomous self-driving. You would just sit in it, plug in your destination and it takes you there. I wouldn’t be very comfortable riding in something like that on a highway, but that is apparently the model that they’re looking at.”

“We’re heading for the Matrix,” Jansen joked.

“Forget it,” Ryan insisted. “No way. The only apple I want is from Andrew’s Farm Market. Put it in my face. Put it in a pie. Put it on a pork chop, but that’s about it. Thank you.”

PA Senate committee looks for different way to publicize proposed amendments

The State Government Committee in the Pennsylvania Senate is working on a different way – other than newspapers – for the government to let the public know of proposed amendments.

This follows the Department of State’s failure to properly advertise an amendment regarding childhood sex abuse and the statute of limitations.

Ryan asked, “Why did it take so long on this one?”

Barkdoll agreed, “I really hope they do something with this. It’s taken way too long to get here, but the idea that these constitutional amendments have to be published in a legal ad in a newspaper that no one is reading anyway and then that debacle that happened a year or two ago with the sexual assault law. Because it was not advertised, the whole thing has died and has not been revived. I think it’s just amplifying why something needs to be done. In today’s world, the state easily could set up a website or some just kind of a public terminal where you could go on a regular basis to see any amendments. I think the same thing could be done with these legal ads for estates or for someone that’s starting a new business and it would save the public a lot of money by moving these ads out of print to some kind of an electronic platform.”