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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Darts & Laurels: wonderful tradition for Friday editions of the Alligator or insidious plot to influence the hearts and minds of Gainesville residents and UF students? You tell us, because even we aren’t sure anymore. With that inquiry out of the way, it’s time for this week’s edition of…

Darts & Laurels

On Thursday, it was reported that Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate who has been dominating Facebook news feeds as well as the hearts and minds of young liberals and progressives all over the country, nearly matched purported front-runner Hillary Clinton in fundraising for the third quarter. Sanders raised about $25 million, and Clinton raised about $28 million. However, closer inspection of these numbers reveals a more interesting story: Clinton held 58 fundraising events to bolster her efforts, while Sanders held only seven.

Essentially, this means Sanders has been making bank by actually interacting with scores of voters rather than wining and dining loaded donors. For putting the pop back in populism, Sanders gets a green, Benjamin Franklin-adorned Laurel.

After the accidental assault on tennis star James Blake (who, it must be noted, is black) last month, the New York Police Department has unveiled a new set of guidelines along with some very helpful graphics that outline when it is and is not acceptable to use force when interacting with the public.

These guidelines are also coming on the heels of an investigation by the NYPD’s inspector general, who found the NYPD’s training curriculum does not adequately focus on de-escalation of situations.

As too little too late as it may be, we begrudgingly give a Laurel to the NYPD. Although we have our doubts about the immediate efficacy of these guidelines, some change — even on a bureaucratic level — is better than none at all.

A short-but-sweet one: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told Donald Trump to put on his "big boy pants" during a town hall event in New Hampshire. For meeting childishness with the only response it understands — more childishness — Jeb Bush, in a reversal from the Sept. 18 Darts and Laurels, gets a Laurel.

During and following Thursday’s tragic shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseberg, Oregon, multiple students were tweeting about what was unfolding in order to make sure others were aware.

Jason Silverstein, a reporter for the New York Daily News, tweeted at one such student to ask for an interview in the midst of the chaos. For exercising poor judgment, being an insensitive asshole and exhibiting a poor understanding of journalistic ethics, Jason Silverstein gets a Dart.

Thursday marked the first day of October, otherwise known as the best month in the 12-month calendar. The slow, inevitable march of time gets a Laurel for getting us this far.

Last but certainly not least, a Laurel to celebrated hip-hop producer The Alchemist for creating a compelling beat out of nothing but cat noises, the Meow Mix jingle and "Trailer Park Boys" dialogue for the song "Creown" on last week’s "Run the Jewels 2" remix album, "Meow the Jewels." What a time to be alive indeed.

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