Saturday, April 27, 2019

Joe Biden: He Understood What Was Happening Back Then

A Biden campaign ad from 47 years ago

That photo is from The Atlantic's story about the Grey Race for the White House:
“Joe Biden. He understands what’s happening today.” The newspaper ad ran a few weeks before the 1972 Senate election in Delaware, when the upstart 29-year-old was challenging a 63-year-old incumbent.
It was all about the sideburns back in the '70s. Then, in the '90s, for Biden it was all about the hair plugs. Now he's all about the disappearing white hair.

You may be wondering which of the 2020 Democratic candidates had not yet been born when Joe first ran for Senate based on his hip now-ness. I looked it up.

  • Pete Buttigieg, 37
  • Eric Swalwell, 38
  • Tulsi Gabbard, 38
  • Seth Moulton, 40
  • Julian Castro, 44
  • Wayne Messam, 44
  • Andrew Yang, 44
  • Tim Ryan, 45
  • Beto O’Rourke, 46

Hell, even Bernie Sanders was only 30 years old back in 1972.

The Mod Squad was still running on TV then, and I would not be surprised if Joe took some of his mod styling cues from the White Guy member of that countercultural crime-fighting trio. Men's fashions were that embarrassing then.

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Rev Al Once Expounded on Architecture, Philosophy, Astrology [sic] and Math-a-Matics

The LA Times has noticed the Democratic candidates lining up to seek Rev Al Sharpton's political blessing (For Democrats, all paths to the White House run through the House of Sharpton) and seems to be silently screaming "no, please, don't!"
A glimpse at the guest list for the Rev. Al Sharpton’s confab here this week would surely astonish any New Yorker arriving in a time machine from the 1980s. Every major Democrat who has launched a White House bid has cleared their schedule to get in front of the Reverend.
Astonished? Oh, they've got that right.
But today, Sharpton’s approval is sought by political candidates far and near. The crusades he launched decades ago against police abuse and racist enforcement of drug laws — back when his issues were widely denigrated as fringe and his look ran to velour tracksuits, giant gold medallions and a pompadour the size of Queens — are now central to the speeches of almost every Democratic 2020 hopeful.

The lifelong preacher and political bomb thrower, the man New York mayors once did not want in their city, much less near their offices, says it is not he who has changed, but the nation’s politics.
The story hits the highlights of the Rev's long trail of trouble-making in New York during the '80s and '90s: the Tawana Brawley hoax, the firebombing of Freddie's Fashion Mart in Harlem that killed eight persons, and his instigating a mini-pogrom in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights.

But there is so much more. Especially the extraordinarily politically incorrect speech in which the Rev Al indulged just the day before yesterday. That alone ought to rule him out as an endorser of Democratic Party Presidential candidates, or so you would think.

Consider that gem of Rev Al rhetoric embedded above, which is from his '90s Afrocentrism period. He delivered it in a 1995 speech at Kean College, New Jersey.

I'd heard of that quote, but it is so perfectly stupid that it strains plausibility to think that even Rev Al really said that. And the reference to Trump makes it just too perfect. That had to be exaggerated if not invented, right? But then I found the audio.

If there are any Democratic candidates who have not yet kissed the Rev's ring, they should run, not walk, away.

Most Head Shakingly Bad Thing of the Week

2 Arkansas men don bullet-resistant vest, shoot each other - Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Ferris said he and Hicks had been on the deck drinking. Ferris was wearing a bullet-resistant vest. He told Hicks to shoot him, according to the affidavit. Hicks shot Ferris in the chest one time with a .22- caliber semi-automatic rifle. The bullet hit the top left corner of Ferris' chest. He said it hurt, according to the affidavit. Hicks then put on the vest. Ferris said he was angry about getting shot, and he "unloaded the clip" with the remaining five rounds into Hicks' back, according to the affidavit. None of the rounds penetrated the vest, according to the affidavit.