The worst part of Kayleigh McEnany’s tenure as White House Press Secretary isn’t having to pay attention to someone who looks and acts like an older version of my middle school bully, it’s actually that she is maddeningly good at her job. The spewing of disinformation is natural in McEnany’s hands, as she stitches together logical fallacies, straw man arguments, and wild deflections such that I am surprised the brains of the entire White House press corps have not melted.
Today’s topic: calls to rename the military forts, such as Fort Bragg, that are currently named after Confederate army officers. McEnany began today’s press briefing by repeatedly stating that the president will not rename what she called “magnificent and fabled” institutions. Her reasoning, which she also repeated many times, at one point appearing to scrounge up a tear, she was was that a name change would be insulting “to the men and women who the last bit of land they saw before they went overseas were these forts,” to suggest that “what they left was an inherently racist institution because of the name.”
Finally, she trotted out the slippery slope argument: “What about people who are alleged by the media to be segregationists, like Joe Biden,” she said, suggesting that perhaps the Biden Welcome Center, a rest stop on I-95, should be renamed.
Biden’s compromises with conservative lawmakers on school desegregation policies are a particularly bleak moment in his political history. And yet. “Where do you draw the line?” Confederate officers! People who enslaved people and fought for their rights to continue to enslave people. THAT IS WHERE YOU DRAW THE LINE! It’s really not that hard. The White House press corps deserves hazard pay. [PBS Newshour]
Conservative pundits and politicians have already begun to suggest that any surge in covid-19 can be attributed to the uprisings and protests over police brutality, which have grown into a national movement. It’s a convenient narrative, for people who would rather these protests not happen. It’s also a wild lie.
According to the Washington Post, at least nine states and Puerto Rico are seeing record numbers of patients hospitalized for the novel coronavirus thus far in the pandemic. This spike doesn’t reflect the protests, which began after the virus’s roughly two week incubation period. And data obtained by the Post suggests that the surge isn’t simply due to states rolling out increased testing.
Instead, let’s look to the states seeing these increased numbers, which include Texas, South Carolina, Arizona, and North Caroline, all of which—wait for it—all re-opened in time for some Memorial day fun. Per the Post:
Arizona tourist sites were packed for Memorial Day weekend. Lake Havasu, a popular vacation destination, was full, according to local officials. In South Carolina, a host of entertainment venues, including zoos, aquariums and water parks, were allowed to open the weekend ahead of Memorial Day. In North Carolina, restaurants were allowed to open at reduced capacity and public pools at 50 percent capacity during Memorial Day weekend.
Many of these states are now beginning to run short of hospital beds. Oh, hmmm, sounds familiar. Great job all around. [Washington Post]
- Naturally, the GOP is moving their convention to what is perhaps the worst city in Florida. [Washington Post]
- Seattle’s city council is attempting to pass an ordinance to defund and eventually disband their tear gas-happy police force. [Mother Jones]
- The ACLU is trying to block the Trump administration from deporting migrant children during the pandemic with a lawsuit. [CBS]
- A group in Congress is planning to propose a ban on teargas, a substance that is banned by many countries for use in warfare but is totally normal for the American police!! [Los Angeles Times]
- The number of people living in “food insecure” areas, without easy access to quality fresh food, has spiked, as grocery stores cut locations and hours during the pandemic. [CNN]