Associated Press File Photo / The same boots that were criticized when first lady Melania Trump wore them to tour hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico were highly praised when they recently were worn by Democratic vice presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California.

The week in gaffes

We can't imagine how nervous the Biden for President campaign staff must be each time its candidate says something in public. His recent gaffes have included a mention of the "Harris-Biden ticket," referring to his vice presidential running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, heading the ticket, and an analysis that "COVID has taken this year, just since the outbreak, has taken more than 100 year, look, here's, the lives, it's just, it's just, I mean, think about it. More lives this year than any year for the past 100 years."

Our favorite this week, though, is one from a campaign stop in Tampa, Florida, and we wish we knew the context because it might — or might not — have related to what he said.

But what Biden said was this:

"Cause if you could take care, if you were a quartermaster, you can sure in hell take care runnin' a, you know, a department store, uh, thing, you know, where, in the second floor of the ladies department or whatever, you know what I mean?"

We don't imagine many of his listeners did.


Still a lie

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow must subscribe to the old saw that if you tell a lie often enough, people believe it. In this case, she used photos.

Last week, in an effort to slam President Donald Trump's border policy about illegal immigrants, she showed photos of children held in cages and separated from their parents.

"[T]he Trump administration, no matter what else they do, they will never get out of the shadow of the fact that they really did [this] as a policy and as a deliberate practice," she said.

However, the photos were made in 2014 by The Associated Press when the practice was being employed by the presidential administration of Barack Obama.

"Very clearly, chain-link barriers, partitions, fences, cages, whatever you want to call them, were not built on Jan. 20, 2017," Obama Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a 2019 interview. "When you have [an influx of migrants] that is, like, four times of what you're accustomed to in the existing infrastructure, you've got to find places quickly to put kids. You can't just dump seven-year-old kids on the streets ... . And so these facilities were erected."

The same photos resurfaced in 2018 and were roundly cited by actors, activists and politicians to condemn Trump. A year later, in a Democratic presidential candidates debate, former Obama Vice President Joe Biden even denied that their administration employed the practice.


Shoe controversy rages

In the #MeToo era, what women wear is supposed to in no way be a measure of who and what they are. Except when it is.

Last week, we revealed the hypocrisy of the praise for Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, for her choice to wear Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, while Republicans who mention a female candidate's clothing are condemned.

But media praise continued recently for the candidate when she stepped off her plane in Timberland boots to tour California wildfire damage with Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"Steppin' off the jet with the wheat timbs?!" tweeted BET. "Hurry up and register to vote! #KamalaHarris #VOTE"

Two blog headlines said "Kamala Harris Wears Her Timberlands, Gets S—t Done" and Kamala Harris' Timberlands-Pearls Combo Has Our Vote."

But when first lady Melania Trump wore Timberlands to tour hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico in 2017, she was savaged.

"Work boots and white jeans?" sniffed USA Today. "Melania Trump's outfits still missing the mark for some." A blog said, "Melania Trump gets roasted on Twitter for wearing Timbs to Puerto Rico."

Women for Trump PAC co-founder Amy Kremer pointed out the hypocrisy.

"I've never see[n] such media bias in my life ... ," she tweeted. "Over #timberland boots! Freaking shoes people. Shoes."


Some apples for your fires?

Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee recently handed out apples to people in three counties which had been devastated by a wildfire. But the recipients said the gift was not only tone deaf but that the apples had maggot larvae and were illegal to have been brought in during an "apple quarantine."

"A lot of people felt that as a slap in the face," wildfire relief organizer Shannon Hampe told KUOW News.

People said what was needed were supplies and money to help rebuild.

"People are very, very upset," said Bridgeport resident Mario Martinez.

Apples are plentiful in the towns Inslee visited, but now the Department of Agriculture is trying to track down the ones the governor brought.

"Apple maggots are an incredibly serious pest and could have dire consequences for the orchardists of Douglas County if we are unable to find the infected apples and mitigate the effects immediately," county officials said.

Inslee's office later issued an apology, saying the apples had come from a tree at the governor's mansion and the mistake was a "good reminder of the importance of awareness."