Patterico's Pontifications

5/23/2020

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:44 am



[guest post by Dana]

Here are a few interesting news items to chew over. Feel free to share anything that you think readers might find interesting. Make sure to include links.

First news item

Mask shaming:

Second news item

How not to stop stop the spread of a highly contagious virus:

A Great Clips hairstylist exposed dozens of clients to coronavirus while showing symptoms, Missouri health officials say.

The stylist at a salon franchise in Springfield served 84 clients and exposed seven coworkers, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department said Friday. The hairstylist also visited a Dairy Queen, Walmart and fitness center, officials said.

Third news item

Trump serves reporters confusing word salad about coronavirus test results:

“I tested very positively in another sense,” Trump added. “I tested positively toward negative, right? So no, I tested perfectly this morning. Meaning I tested negative. But that’s a way of saying it. Positively toward the negative.”

Given the above, I’m thinking sooner rather than later :

It’s been more than six months since President Donald Trump claimed to have started his annual physical at Walter Reed hospital but the White House is declining to explain why he has yet to complete the yearly doctor’s examination.

Senior administration officials did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment about the delay — despite Trump announcing this week he was taking an unproven and potentially dangerous drug after being exposed to an aide who tested positive for coronavirus.

Fourth news item

Two old white guys have a slap fest:

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired back at President Trump on Twitter late Friday night after the president again scolded his former ally for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Trump has thrown his support behind Session’s Senate rival Tommy Tuberville in Alabama’s upcoming election.

“3 years ago, after Jeff Sessions recused himself, the Fraudulent Mueller Scam began,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Alabama, do not trust Jeff Sessions. He let our Country down. That’s why I endorsed Coach Tommy Tuberville… the true supporter of our #MAGA agenda!”

Sessions responded with a fiery tweet of his own: “Look, I know your anger, but recusal was required by law. I did my duty & you’re damn fortunate I did. It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration. Your personal feelings don’t dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do.”

Fifth news item

Oh, come on!:

President Trump is considering establishing a panel to review complaints of anticonservative bias on social media, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would likely draw pushback from technology companies and others.

The plans are still under discussion but could include the establishment of a White House-created commission that would examine allegations of online bias and censorship, these people said. The administration could also encourage similar reviews by federal regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission, they said.

“Left-wing bias in the tech world is a concern that definitely needs to be addressed from our vantage point, and at least exposed [so] that Americans have clear eyes about what we’re dealing with,” a White House official said.

Sixth news item

Remember them still:

Millions of us have been there on the battlefield. We saw the aircraft get hit. We were on the bridge when last contact with the submarine was made. We saw the tank after it exploded in flames. I lost two of my captain commanders two weeks apart in Vietnam. Wonderful officers in their late 20s, older men in the eyes of an infantry lieutenant. The first killed as we extracted under fire was hit in the small of the back by the only rounds to strike the Chinook helicopter. The second killed during an all-night barrage of enemy artillery on our battalion. I crawled over to him and retrieved his .357 Magnum revolver since I was wounded and could not load my M16. His mother wrote me several beautiful letters in later weeks. In the last communication she asked if I had “prayed with her son as death approached.” I could not recreate for her the scene. The whiplash of machine gun fire across the landing zone. The pouring rain and the mud, and the hundreds of casualties hoping to survive. The ongoing combat mayhem that is incompatible with prayer.

Our troops are out there today in harm’s way across the face of the Earth. Sixty thousand have been killed or wounded since the 9/11 attacks to protect us from the terrorists who wish to destroy us and our freedom. In this war, 1,000 of our casualties have been women. They now join their brothers in shedding their blood.

So, on this Memorial Day, as we face such sadness for our threatened way of life, let us also honor the memories of those courageous young Americans who disappeared into history so that we could remain free and live under our Constitution.

I am reminded of a passage in the famous 1914 poem by Laurence Binyon:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Don’t be these people:

(h/t Paul Montagu)

Have a good weekend.

–Dana

Joe Biden To Black Voters: If You’re Trying To Decide Between Trump Or Me, ‘You Ain’t Black’

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:11 am



[guest post by Dana]

So, this happened:

Joe Biden defended his legislative record in an often contentious Friday morning interview with Charlamagne Tha God, the host of the popular radio show “The Breakfast Club,” and argued that his presidential campaign was doing enough to reach out to black voters. At one point, Biden argued that black voters undecided on whether to vote for him or for President Trump “ain’t black.”

Transcript:

Charlamagne tha God: (17:15)
Listen, you got to come see us when you come to New York VP Biden.

Joe Biden: (17:18)
I will.

Charlamagne tha God: (17:19)
Because it’s a long way until November. We got more questions.

Joe Biden: (17:22)
You got more questions but I tell ya, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.

Charlamagne tha God: (17:28)
It don’t have nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with the fact I want something for my community. I would love to see-

After criticism came from both sides of the aisle because WHOSE SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THAT, Biden was compelled to apologize for his gaffe explain himself in a phone call with members of the U.S. Black Chambers:

“I should not have been so cavalier. I’ve never, never, ever taken the African American community for granted.”

“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy. I shouldn’t have been so cavalier. … No one should have to vote for any party based on their race, their religion, their background,” Biden said. “There are African Americans who think that Trump was worth voting for, I don’t think so. I’m prepared to put my record against his. That was the bottom line and it was ah — it was really unfortunate I shouldn’t have been so cavalier.”

Hm, was that being “cavalier,” or was that just being flippant, disrespectful, and arrogant? I’m going with the latter three…

Black Republicans were vocal in their criticism of Biden:

…Michigan Senate candidate John James, who addressed Biden in a tweeted video: “You challenging me and millions of other people out there on their blackness, descendants of slaves, from you is some seriously condescending, out of touch bullcrap,” and he questioned whether Biden should “even be running for president in the Democratic Party who says they’re for black people.”

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott told reporters on a Trump campaign call, “I thought to myself, I’ve been black for 54 years. I was struck by the condescension and the arrogance.” Scott urged his Senate colleagues to disavow Biden’s remarks and added, “Race baiting in the 21st century is an ineffective tool to attract one of the most intelligent voting blocs in the nation. He should respect African-American voters as individuals, not as a part of a group or a monolithic group of people.”

Biden’s senior advisor, Symone D. Sanders defended Biden, saying the comments were made in jest:

“The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period,”

Here are a few varied responses to Biden’s comments from the black community:

And then there was bit of insight from The Root:

First, he keeps calling Charlamagne, “man.”

“I’m following the rules, man.”

“Totally different, man.”

This is Biden’s version of a blaccent. This is the thing he’s doing to make himself cool and hip to the young black community. Imagine a white guy calling you his main man; that’s the way Biden says it. Except, he doesn’t realize he’s playing himself and the community he’s supposed to be reaching out to. Biden isn’t alone in this.

This is a thing that out-of-touch white politicians do all the time. I call it the Love Don’t Co$t a Thing move. It goes like this: Can’t Buy Me Love is a teen romantic comedy that premiered in 1987. It’s an underrated classic that centers around a geeky kid using his savings to pay a cheerleader to help him be cool. When Hollywood wanted to re-create the success of Can’t Buy Me Love, they went and grabbed a young Nick Cannon to star in a remake called Love Don’t Co$t a Thing. Two things are wrong with this idea: The first is that black audiences didn’t like the original movie. The second is that in order to get black audiences to come out, the studio had to hip-hop the title up a bit with that dollar sign for an “s.” What the studio didn’t realize and what Biden doesn’t realize is doing that is degrading and shows just how out of touch they are with the community they’re trying to reach.

You don’t endear yourself to black people by trying to talk the way you believe they do. You endear yourself to black people—hell, all people—by being genuine…

During the interview, Biden also confirmed that he was considering a black woman as a running mate:

Biden also “guaranteed” that he was considering a black woman to serve as his vice president. CBS News reported that Biden is vetting Amy Klobuchar, who is white, as a potential vice presidential pick. She is one of several contenders being scrutinized for the job by Biden aides.

“I guarantee you, there are multiple black women being considered. Multiple,” Biden said.

Biden may feel compelled to choose a black woman for the vice president slot because of his gaffe. But if it blows over and is dismissed with an exasperated “Oh, that’s just Joe being Joe” eyeroll, then his options for a vice president remain open.

So why did Biden act as if he was entitled to the black vote? Because he really believes he is, of course:

He said it because he meant it. It’s not just that he believes his record on racial issues is better than Trump’s, it’s that he’s willing to demagogue racial identity to help his party. He did it eight years ago, infamously, when he told a black audience that Republicans want to “put y’all back in chains.” Whatever the particulars of his record and Trump’s, he uttered a party orthodoxy this morning so commonplace that I think you could take literally any Democratic politician in the country with literally any Republican opponent and they’d offer the same view (privately) of whether they’re entitled to black votes or not.

Bearing in mind that Biden is a long-practiced politician and a spectacular schmoozer with all the accompanying ambition (obviously), I think he jumped at the opportunity to remind black voters that, because he is in their corner, they should be in his corner. In other words, it was just politics as usual for the Democrat. Not a flattering picture of Biden, and certainly not a flattering picture of how Biden views black voters. But there were also practical political reasons that prompted Biden’s (risky) cringe-inducing-foot-in-mouth-over-familiarity:

First, after becoming VP to the first black president and then turning the tide of this year’s primaries via black voters in South Carolina, he may believe he’s got enough cred banked with black Americans that he’s entitled to be racially presumptuous in a way most whites aren’t. He has special privileges. Not so special that he can get away with anything — he’s not going to call anyone “my nigga,” I hope — but special enough that, sure, he’ll amiably question your blackness if you support Trump. His problem is that his self-perceived privileges aren’t clearly defined even to him, which led to him crossing the line this morning.

Second, he may be panicked that he’s underperforming with black voters. Sure, he still leads Trump head to head in every national poll, but the battleground polls haven’t been quite as solid for him and some of the data even in national polling has looked worrisome for his campaign among nonwhites…

Put it all together and Biden may be feeling anxious about his hold on the black vote. He’ll win it by a landslide, needless to say, but the exact margin of that landslide will matter to the final outcome of the election. He wants to duplicate Obama’s gigantic edge among African-Americans in 2008 and 2012 and maybe feels like he *should* be duplicating it because of his bio — but he isn’t, at least not yet. So maybe that anxiety led him into an unusually crass and desperate formulation of what black voters supposedly owe him this fall.

Meanwhile, Democratic strategists and party officials are hoping to convince former President Obama to use his immense popularity to draw in more voters and critical Democrat constituencies that are crucial for a Biden victory. Biden’s attempt to define what makes someone black certainly certainly wasn’t helpful to the cause.

–Dana


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