In an appearance on MSNBC on Tuesday, Judith Sheindlin made a weak case for Bloomberg and against Biden and Sanders
Judge Judith Sheindlin—better known as Judge Judy—appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday to advocate for her preferred "Democratic" candidate, Mike Bloomberg.
As well as being an actual judge, Judge Judy has won over 25-years of daytime TV viewers by dispensing no-nonsense "justice" in a "small claims court" that essentially awards small cash prizes to people willing to air their dirty laundry in public. It was recently announced that this year will mark the final season of Judge Judy, but that doesn't mean that Sheindlin is done inflicting her pithy opinions on the public. Until her new show Judy Justice arrives next year, she will have to content herself with appearances on cable news in which—in her signature fashion—she can dispense with any suggestion of nuance and reduce complex issues to gut reactions and snarky quips.
Using those methods on MSNBC on Tuesday, Sheindlin quickly dismissed the candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Sanders, in her view, only offers "a fantasy," and Joe Biden is "a really nice guy" who will be vulnerable against "a street fighter" like Donald Trump. According to her, as soon as Trump gets on stage with Joe Biden, he will "bring up all the things that the other Democratic candidates at debates did not" and likely tank his candidacy. That may be true. Joe Biden is older than Donald Trump and has a history of supporting racist policies and interacting with women in ways that make them uncomfortable. Trump could use that ammunition to deflate enthusiasm for Joe Biden and undermine many of the strongest arguments against Trump himself. But what about Mike Bloomberg?
Somehow Sheindlin seems to have overlooked how all of these criticisms apply just as well—if not more so—to her favorite candidate, whom she refers to as "a man who knows how to see a problem and incrementally get it fixed." Not only can Bloomberg be attacked on the basis of a record that suggests both racism and sexism, he is also an out-of-touch Wall Street elitist who banned soda in NYC. On top of that, he has already shown himself ill-equipped to respond to those criticisms coming from the likes of Elizabeth Warren—so he's not exactly a "street fighter."
So why has Sheindlin decided to endorse a presidential candidate for the first time in her career? Maybe Sheindlin, who makes around $50 million a year as the star of Judge Judy, has another motive in supporting the only ultra-wealthy candidate who is still running as a Democrat. Hmm… Perhaps her opinions on Bernie Sanders will clarify things.
What would it mean if Sheindlin referred to Bernie's policy proposals as "fiscally impossible" and claimed that it has failed "wherever it's been tried on a large scale"—despite the fact that similar policies can be found functioning in nearly every developed nation on Earth? Could it be that Sheindlin is out of touch with the ordinary struggles she pretends to adjudicate in a fake court room for a salary of tens of millions? Is it possible she's just promoting the candidate she thinks will defend her nearly half-a-billion-dollars of wealth against the grubbing hordes she lords over on TV and in life?
Sheindlin went on to cite Bernie's limited electoral accomplishments as proof that he can't get things done, because he has only passed "seven bills in 30 years … [which] is not a really great track record." Having pushed for decades for the kind of sweeping change that was anathema to the political establishment, it's true that Sanders' name appears on far more amendments than full-fledged bills. While his supporters see this as an argument for giving him the power to force the establishment to grapple with his progressive ideas, to Sheindlin it means that Bernie is "fooling the people out there who are struggling into thinking that he's the answer. He's not the answer."
Whatever the case, 2016 proved that voters are not particularly impressed with people who "get things done" within a system the public sees as corrupt and diseased. While Sanders' electoral and political "revolution" may not come to pass, revolution of one form or another is far from "impossible"–it's inevitable.
During her appearance, Sheindlin noted that young people always seem to want revolution. As long as there is injustice, and as long as young people are divested from the status quo, that will be the case—as it was in the American colonies of the 1770s, France of the 1780s, Russia of the 1910s… Young people push for revolution, and every once in a while revolution actually happens. It's inevitable in every culture, and it's been creeping closer around the world. Short of political change on at least the scale of the New Deal, a generation faced with the prospects of catastrophic climate change and a lifetime of economic serfdom will not quietly settle for business as usual.
Revolution—in one form or another—is coming for your wealth, Judith. And Mike Bloomberg can't save you.
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Chuck D announced that the band would be moving on without Flavor Flav after a legal dispute around Bernie Sanders' LA rally
On Friday an attorney representing Flavor Flav sent a cease and desist letter to Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign.
The letter claimed that the campaign was using Flav's "unauthorized likeness, image, and trademarked clock in promotional materials" to advertise an event that took place on Sunday. The event in question—a Sanders rally at the LA Convention Center—ended up drawing a crowd of more than 17,000 supporters who filled the arena to cheer on Sanders and see comedian Sarah Silverman, Hollywood legend Dick Van Dyke, and a performance by Chuck D's Public Enemy Radio.
Public Enemy Radio is an offshoot of Public Enemy that includes Chuck D, Jahi, and DJ Lord, but not Flavor Flav. While many articles about the event claimed that Public Enemy would be performing—and even used images that featured Flavor Flav—Flav had not signed on. In his statement, Flav and his legal team asserted that the correct billing should have been "Chuck D of Public Enemy," because "those who truly know what Public Enemy stands for know what time it is, there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav." The letter also included a handwritten plea from Flav, saying, "Hey Bernie, don't do this."
Two days later, Chuck D announced that Public Enemy will officially be moving forward without Flavor Flav, and his lawyer responded to the legal threats with the statement, "Chuck could perform as Public Enemy if he ever wanted to; he is the sole owner of the Public Enemy trademark. He originally drew the logo himself in the mid-80s, is also the creative visionary and the group's primary songwriter." Flav, in other words, has been kicked out of the band.
This is just the latest chapter in a legal dispute between Flavor Flav and Chuck D. The two worked as collaborators for decades, but they've been at odds over finances since at least 2017. That was the year Flavor Flav sued Chuck D over supposedly unpaid profits from royalties, fees, and merchandising. Based on his instrumental role in the group, which included (according to Flav) having written more than 50 Public Enemy songs, Flav has claimed that he and Chuck D had a longstanding agreement to split those profits.
In a series of tweets, Chuck D expressed that this rift was a long time coming, saying "My last straw was long ago." He credited their falling out to Flav's unwillingness to "do benevolent work," specifically citing the Many Rivers to Cross Festival in 2016, where Flav refused to perform. The show was put on by Harry Belafonte's Sankofa, an organization created to "focus on issues of injustice that disproportionately affect the disenfranchised, the oppressed, and the underserved." Chuck D has been heavily involved with the group's work in recent years, but he claims that Flav would rather "dance for his money" than do a show for free.
In the past, when people have characterized Flavor Flav as nothing more than a goofy hype man and reality show clown, Chuck D has come to his defense, noting that Flav is a talented musician who can play 15 different instruments. In this case, however, Chuck D was not so eager to stand up for his old collaborator, saying he'd "definitely like to find those 50 songs he wrote." Flav is only officially credited as writer on six of the groups' songs, so it's not exactly surprising that the 2017 suit was eventually thrown out. His 50 song claim definitely seems like an overreach, but it's nothing compared to the overreach implied by the phrase "trademarked clock." Does Flavor Flav own (or believe that he owns) the concept of clocks?
The most widespread promotional image for the Sanders event featured Bernie in outline under the slogan "Fight the Power," with the words Public Enemy in oversized font that crushed the tiny addendum Radio into one corner. While there is no image of Flav or a clock involved, the image certainly suggested that all the members of Public Enemy would be participating. And now that Flavor Flav decided to make an issue of it, the members who participated are the only members left.
The group's next album Loud is not Enough will be coming out in April.
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