On Friday morning, President Trump signed legislation easing restrictions on covid-19 relief loans for small businesses, lauding the improved unemployment numbers, shitting on China, and inappropriately invoking the death of George Floyd in the process. But there was something else deeply stupid that occurred during Trump’s inane Rose Garden address: the seating for White House reporters were arranged in such a way that made social distancing impossible.
The covid-19 pandemic prompted the Centers for Disease Control to institute strict social distancing guidelines requiring six feet of space between individuals. White House reporters have been spread out during indoor pressers and have had their chairs strategically distanced according to CDC guidelines during Rose Garden pressers. But on Friday, the chairs were arranged so that there was only one foot of space or so between each reporter.
The reporters were, understandably, perplexed.
Politico reporter Meridith McGraw tweeted, “No more social distancing in the Rose Garden it seems...” PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor tweeted, “I’m in Rose Garden and the White House staff set up reporter chairs so we’re not as far apart as we have been for distancing. We didn’t chose [sic] to sit closer.” She added that Trump noted that they look better when they’re sitting closer together. CNN’s Jim Acosta tweeted a side by side photo showing the difference between the arrangement that has been in place in the Rose Garden compared to Friday’s adjustment.
So why did the chair arrangement scream coronavirus? Because the White House thought it just looked better that way!
No, literally, that’s was the White House’s official response.
This was relayed by Jonathan Karl, president of the White House Correspondents Association. According to Karl, when the WHCA asked for an explanation as to why the chairs were arranged in a way that put reporters’ health in jeopardy, the White House Press Office said, “it looks better.”
This truly emphasizes where President Trump’s mind is at. Over a hundred thousand Americans are dead due to covid-19, but, eh, who cares about maintaining safe practices. Aesthetics, baby!
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wants to make it very fucking clear: About 10 to 15 percent of Americans suck, but the rest are alright!
Anyone else getting “deplorable” flashbacks? Republicans sure did, and they’re running with it.
The New York Times reports that Biden made the comment during a discussion about race in America, the discourse with no end in sight. The panel, which was moderated by actor Don Cheadle, highlighted the nationwide protests against police brutality and systematic racism, and how Biden plans to differ from President Trump on addressing these topics. Biden said that while Trump exploits divisiveness in the United States, he isn’t the root cause of it.
“Hate didn’t begin with Donald Trump, it’s not going to end with him,” Biden said. “The history of our country is not a fairy tale, it doesn’t guarantee a happy ending, but as I said earlier, we’re in a battle for the soul of this nation. It’s been a constant push and pull for the last 200 years.”
Biden also acknowledged that the presidency of Barack Obama did not bring about the post-racial utopia that naive critics thought it would. Great, cool, that’s important and far more substantive than the hollow, Pete Buttigieg-worthy tweets his social media managers have been spitting out. But his comments about the goodness of a subset of the American populous is, naturally, what attracted the most attention.
From the New York Times, emphasis mine:
“Do we really think this is as good as we can be as a nation? I don’t think the vast majority of people think that,” the former vice president said. “There are probably anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the people out there that are just not very good people, but that’s not who we are. The vast majority of the people are decent, and we have to appeal to that and we have to unite people — bring them together. Bring them together.”
We can quibble over Biden’s numbers—was he being a little too conservative with his estimate?—but the fact is that the Republicans are thankful that Biden blessed them with something new to blow out of proportion.
Thank god an arbiter of moral clarity like Kimberly Guilfoyle—Trump campaign stooge, girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr, and arguably not very good person—is here to chide Biden on his gaffe!
Hmm, interesting how the right sees “10 to 15 percent of the people out there that are just not very good people” and immediately feel attacked. Maybe they should unpack that a little more!
- The mother of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was shot and killed by three officers in March, penned a tribute to her daughter on what would be her 27th birthday. You can donate to the Justice for Breonna Taylor GoFundMe here. [The Cut]
- It looks like Derick Chauvin, the Minneapolis cop accused of killing George Floyd, might have done a voter fraud.
- All Fifty-seven members of the Buffalo Police Department Emergency Response Team have resigned after two cops were suspended for allegedly shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground during a protest, seriously injuring him. Let me be clear: They didn’t resign because they were disgusted by the behavior of their fellow officers, but rather... because their fellow cops were reprimanded. Plus, they’re still employed on the BPD force! So... shitty all around. [CNN]
- Meanwhile, in D.C...
- Rand Paul is still very confident that voting against anti-lynching legislation is a worthy kill to die on. [Politico]
- U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is asking contractors for some help making Trump’s stupid border wall harder to penetrate or climb over. [Washington Post]
- Republican leaders in five Texas counties shared racist posts on Facebook, including a conspiracy theory that George Floyd’s death was staged and a photo juxtaposing a Martin Luther King Jr quote with bananas. [Texas Tribune]
- Gritty... thank you.