Thursday Reads: “Such A Nasty Woman”Posted: August 13, 2020
Trump and his cultists have completely lost their minds over the choice of Kamala Harris for Vice President on the Democratic ticket. On Fox Business this morning, Trump himself escalated the attacks, calling Harris a “madwoman.”
Trump has also called Harris a “nasty” woman. The Washington Post: ‘Extraordinarily nasty’: Trump hurls one of his favorite insults at a new target in Kamala Harris.
…just hours after former vice president Joe Biden announced Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif). as his running mate, Trump reached for one of his favorite adjectives and dismissed the first woman of color on a major-party ticket as “nasty.”
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, the president described Harris’s questioning of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing as “extraordinarily nasty” — “nasty to a level that was just a horrible thing.” He also said she was “the meanest” and “the most horrible” in pressing Kavanaugh. And Trump said her debate stage attacks against Biden during the Democratic primaries were “very, very nasty.”
The insult is one Trump has levied roughly equally against men and women alike since becoming president, according to Factba.se, a data analytics company that tracks all of Trump’s public utterances. He did use it far more frequently during the 2016 campaign against women than men, said Factba.se founder Bill Frischling, although that was in part because he repeatedly brandished it against just one woman — Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whom Trump famously called “such a nasty woman” during a debate.
But the resonance of the adjective — the way the attack lands, the nuances in connotation — is often different when the recipient is a woman, and different still when that woman is a person of color. Calling a woman nasty, say many experts and women in politics, is another way to deliberately dismiss and demean female politicians.
“It really has become coded language for a woman, and it tries to put her in a place that is unacceptable to society,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List, which works to elect pro-choice Democratic women across the country. “Our society allows for poor behavior by men but has little acceptance for anything but perfection by women, and so a term like ‘nasty’ really is just coded language, at least for a certain piece of the population.”
At Fox News, Tucker Carlson repeatedly and deliberately mispronounced Harris’s first name. The Washington Post: Tucker Carlson’s mangling of Kamala Harris’s name was all about disrespect.
…it was so instructive — if utterly predictable — to watch Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s handling of Kamala Harris’s slightly challenging first name on his prime-time show Tuesday, hours after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden named the senator from California as his running mate.
Not only did Carlson mispronounce it, but when a guest went out of his way to politely correct him, Carlson had one of his trademark fits of pique.
The exchange went like this:
“Tucker, can I just say one thing?” said Richard Goodstein, an adviser to Democratic campaigns.
Carlson: “Of course.”
Goodstein: “Because this will serve you and your fellow hosts on Fox. Her name is pronounced ‘comma’ — like the punctuation mark — ‘la.’ Comma-la.”
He went on: “Seriously, I’ve heard every sort of bastardization of her —,” and then Carlson broke in: “Okay, so what?”
With his familiar mocking laugh, Carlson demanded to know what difference it made if he pronounced it KAM-a-la, with the first syllable like “camera.” Or Ka-MILL-a. Or, properly, Comma-la.
And who cares, Carlson wanted to know, whether he made an unintentional error about it?
Goodstein retorted with the obvious: “Out of respect, for somebody who’s going to be on the national ticket, pronouncing her name right is actually kind of a bare minimum.”
We’ll have to get used to this garbage. It will be a repeat of what we had to deal with in 2016–maybe even worse.
We’ll undoubtedly have to put up with more birther nonsense too. Los Angeles Magazine: Kamala Critics Are Going Back to the Birther Playbook.
A historic candidate of color appears on a national ticket and the Default Twitter Avatar People go wild sharing all the reasons they think that candidate is secretly foreign born and, thus, ineligible for high office. Sound familiar? The birthers are back, posting their claims about where Kamala Harris was born and what her parents’ background really was.
To set things straight from the beginning: Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California, on October 20, 1964. Even most (not all, of course) of the people sharing posts about her ineligibility to become president in the event something happened to Biden don’t seem to contest those facts.
One cut-and-paste post shared thousands of times on Facebook in recent days claims that she would not be able to become president because, it says, her parents were not citizens when she was born.
“Kamala cannot by constitutional law become President. She is an anchor baby, mother is from India, father is Jamaican, and neither were american citizens at time of her birth,” [SIC] the post’s text reads.
The term “anchor baby” does not appear in the Constitution. The phrase didn’t even exist until a Los Angeles Times article published in 1987. Its popular usage now dates to the immigration reform debates of around 2006, according to The Washington Post.
And while some politicians on America’s far right do believe that U.S. citizenship should not automatically be conferred as a birthright, as it stands now, it is. Further, Article Two merely dictates that a person born after 1787 be a “natural born citizen” of the country, it says nothing about the citizenship of the individual’s parents.
In other news, Trump also admitted in the Fox News interview that he is blocking funding to the Post Office in order to steal the election.
President Trump says the U.S. Postal Service is incapable of facilitating mail-in voting because it cannot access the emergency funding he is blocking, and made clear that requests for additional aid were nonstarters in coronavirus relief negotiations.
Trump, who has been railing against mail-in balloting for months, said the cash-strapped agency’s enlarged role in the November election would perpetuate “one of the greatest frauds in history.” Speaking Wednesday at his daily pandemic news briefing, Trump said he would not approve $25 billion in emergency funding for the Postal Service, or $3.5 billion in supplemental funding for election resources, citing prohibitively high costs.
“They don’t have the money to do the universal mail-in voting. So therefore, they can’t do it, I guess,” Trump said. “Are they going to do it even if they don’t have the money?”
Trump’s remarks came hours after congressional Democrats intensified calls for more oversight of the agency and the new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, a major Republican donor and Trump ally.
More Postal Service news:
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy continues to hold a multimillion-dollar stake in his former company XPO Logistics, a United States Postal Service contractor, likely creating a major conflict of interest, according to newly obtained financial disclosures and ethics experts.
Outside experts who spoke to CNN were shocked that ethics officials at the postal service approved this arrangement, which allows DeJoy to keep at least $30 million in XPO holdings.
DeJoy and USPS have said he fully complied with the regulations.
Raising further alarms, on the same day in June that DeJoy divested large amounts of Amazon shares, he purchased stock options giving him the right to buy new shares of Amazon at a price much lower than their current market price, according to the disclosures.
This could lead to a separate conflict, given President Donald Trump’s disdain for Amazon, and his reported effort in 2018 to pressure DeJoy’s predecessor to raise prices on Amazon and other firms, while complaining about its founder Jeff Bezos. The Treasury Department also recently struck a loan deal with USPS that gives the Trump administration more leverage to push for higher shipping prices — one of his pet projects.
Mail sorting equipment is being removed from U.S. Postal Service (USPS) offices amid a slew of operational changes implemented by new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, according to the head of the Iowa Postal Workers Union.
Numerous reports have detailed how changes made by DeJoy, a top donor to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, have cut overtime and changed policies, which have slowed down mail delivery across the country. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said last week that DeJoy had “confirmed that contrary to prior denials and statements minimizing these changes, the Postal Service recently instituted operational changes” shortly after he assumed office.
“We believe these changes, made during the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, now threaten the timely delivery of mail — including medicines for seniors, paychecks for workers, and absentee ballots for voters — that is essential to millions of Americans,” they wrote in a letter to DeJoy, calling the cost-cutting measures “counterproductive and unacceptable.”
The USPS, which underwent a controversial staff shake-up after DeJoy took over, recently advanced a proposal that would nearly triple states’ postage costs for mail-in ballots and is also reportedly planning service cuts. But Kimberly Karol, the head of the Iowa Postal Workers Union, told NPR that there have been even more changes than previously reported.
Meanwhile the coronavirus pandemic is surging out of control but Trump still wants schools fully opened. The Washington Post: U.S. reports highest number of covid-19 deaths in one day since mid-May.
As the United States reported its highest number of deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day since mid-May, President Trump on Wednesday continued to press for the nation’s schools to bring children into classrooms, for businesses to open and for athletes to fill stadiums.
“We’ve got to open up our schools and open up our businesses,” Trump said at an evening news conference at the White House, adding that he wanted to see a college football season this fall. “Let them play,” he said.
The president also made his latest concerted push to get students back into U.S. schools, saying that “99.9 percent” of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic involve adults. He threatened to divert federal money from schools that don’t open, and warned of the intellectual damage that could result if children remain at home indefinitely.
“When you sit at home in a basement looking at a computer, your brain starts to wither away,” Trump said, adding that “all schools should be making plans to resume in-person classes as soon as possible.”
On Wednesday, the country reported its highest number of deaths in a single day since mid-May, at nearly 1,500. The country has now seen its seven-day average of newly reported deaths remain above 1,000 for 17 consecutive days.
There is lots more breaking news of course. Have we ever had a quiet news day under Trump? I’ll post more stories in the comments and I hope you will too–or just check in to say “hi.”