- The Washington Times
Sunday, October 1, 2017

Joe Biden appears to have his eye on 2020. Or something. The former vice president founded a political action committee months called American Possibilities, actively soliciting public donations. Mr. Biden has a new book arriving next month, and will embark on a 19-city “American Promise Tour” in late November.  Is the 74-year-old striking a presidential posture? Could be. He’s also changed his tone, transitioning from “smilin’ Joe” to aggressive attack dog, his ire aimed directly at President Trump.

“We have an American president who tweets about NFL ratings while 3.4 million American citizens face a desperate search for food and water in Puerto Rico. We have an American president who has publicly proclaimed a moral equivalency between Neo-Nazis and those who would oppose their venom and hate. Who has emboldened white supremacists with messages of comfort and support,” Mr. Biden notes in a new public outreach for his PAC.


“Every week, it’s something new. And I know it’s tempting to throw your hands up — to give up, shut down, or tune out for the next three years. But we cannot grow weary. We cannot grow discouraged. And we cannot give an inch. Folks, it’s up to us now to do what our president has not: Uphold America’s values. Defend our constitution. Say, full-throated and together, this is not who we are,” Mr. Biden proclaims.

“Our children are watching. We can make them proud of what we did with this moment. And I believe we will,” he concludes, an initial volley in the Democratic Party’s effort to regain territory and re-establish a narrative.

TRUMP REMAINS TRUMP

“Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail.”

President Trump, regarding his current diplomatic relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

DONALD TRUMP THE ARTIST

Yes, he knows the art of the deal. But President Trump also knows the art of art, apparently. A stark drawing he once did of the Empire State Building in black magic marker is going up for auction later this month.

“Billionaire real estate mogul, reality TV personality, the 45th President of the United States. Much is known of the many high profile roles Donald Trump has played as one of the most talked about cultural figures of our time. But less is known of Trump’s talents as an artist. A rarely seen drawing has surfaced revealing the future President’s artistic inclinations in the early ‘90s during his days as a real estate developer,” reports Julien’s Auctions, a Los Angeles-based auction house with a heavy concentration in the art and objects from the film, music and sports worlds.

“The 12” x 9” piece depicts a sketch of the Empire State Building, a significant symbol of Trump’s ascent as a real estate mogul as he brokered the sale of New York’s most iconic symbol. He created the work during the opening of his Mar-a-Lago club and used it as an entry point into the Palm Beach social set by donating the piece for a charity auction,” the auction house says.

The piece raised less than $100 back in the day. It now could fetch around $12,000, the auctioneer advises.

THE POT VOTE

There a demographic for everyone. Two interest groups have joined forces to promote “cannabis voters” among those who, well, appreciate cannabis for one reason or another.

The National Cannabis Festival and HeadCount.org have just launched the WeCannaVote campaign — a “joint project” they say — with the goal of registering 4,200 voters in the next six months.

“Our goal is to educate as many people inside and beyond the cannabis community about voting rights and voter registration,” says Caroline Phillips, founder of the aforementioned festival, which is geared toward marijuana legalization, legislation and retail business.

“For cannabis legalization to advance, it’s important that activists, patients, medical professionals, business leaders and enthusiasts come together to demonstrate the power of our collective vote. This campaign and the festival itself give us an opportunity to show the scope, size and values of our community,” Ms. Phillips observes.

The festival itself will be staged about a mile from the U.S. Capitol in April. In its security message, the group advises participants: “No poles and staffs (sorry wizardry folks!)” and no weapons of any kind, “including nunchucks and magical wands.”

A MOMENT WITH NEWT

Tired of the contemporary caterwaul? Newt Gingrich will have a say on several decades worth of politics, appearing Monday at the Heritage Foundation in the company of historian Craig Shirley, author of “Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative,” published just last month. The pair will compare notes on several decades worth of political strife.

“In one way or another Newt Gingrich has been leading a revolution for most of his life,” Mr. Shirley says. “The book captures the events, ideas, successes, and failures of Newton Leroy Gingrich — one of the most complex, influential, and durable political figures of our time.”

Indeed, the feisty former House speaker and author of the much imitated “Contract with America” 23 years ago has pretty well seen it all. Heritage fellow Lee Edwards will moderate the discussion. See it live streamed at noon EDT, at Heritage.org/events.

POLL DU JOUR

• 67 percent of Americans who say athletes and celebrities who protest can be effective; 56 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of independents and 75 percent of Democrats agree.

• 49 percent of Americans say the NFL should require athletes to stand during the national anthem; 84 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

• 47 percent say athletes should not be required to stand; 15 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 72 percent of Democrats agree.

• 49 percent of Americans say athletes do “wrong” by kneeling during the national anthem; 87 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents and 21 percent of Democrats agree.

• 43 percent overall say such athletes are doing “right”; 11 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 72 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CNN/SSRS poll of 1,037 U.S, adults conducted Sept. 26-28.

Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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