Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Race-baiter As Kindly Monarch: Trumpism On Full Display in Puerto Rico Visit

Climate change and extreme weather events are not devastating a random selection of human beings from all walks of life. There are no billionaires among the dead, no corporate executives living in shelters, no stockbrokers watching their children die of malnutrition. Ian Angus    / 

Wow! Does Jonathan Chait writing in NY Magazine ever nail Trump’s response to the catastrophe in Puerto Rico to the wall for all to see. It’s an amazing piece, Chait was able to get inside Trump’s twisted mind and expose his lack of empathy for the 3.5 million Americans that are suffering and dying needlessly because of his cruelty.

Combine the cruelty with sheer incompetence and dereliction of duty and we witness what is likely to be one of the worst humanitarian disasters in this nation’s history.

This does not need to happen, the military can get the job done and the GOP knows it. Do they really want to be complicit in a crime against humanity? This has the feel of genocide. I could rant forever, but here is an excerpt of Chait’s piece.
Puerto Rico’s disaster has made Trump think about the role of the state in furnishing basic survival goods. He quickly adopted positions far to the right of even the most hardened libertarian ideologue. Trump assailed “ingrates” who “want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.” How could people possibly take personal responsibility when they lack access to electricity, drinking water, and even their own money? He mused that Puerto Rico is “throwing our budget out of whack,” a strange complaint from a man who frequently calls for the “the biggest tax cut we’ve ever had.”
The Trump who complained about lazy Puerto Ricans who needed to pick themselves up by their bootstraps rather than drain the Treasury was the familiar race-baiter. But there was also another dynamic on display: Trump’s habit of personalizing every case to an almost pathological degree. What set off the president was less the formal position of Puerto Rican politicians and their constituents (that they needed help to recover from a natural catastrophe) than the fact that they complained about it.
Trump views his powers as president in near-absolute terms. “I will give you everything,” he promised during the campaign. “I will give you what you’ve been looking for 50 years. I’m the only one.” In this sense, Trump occupies the opposite end of the ideological spectrum from the small-government conservatism of his party. He imagines himself as a monarch, dispensing favors to grateful subjects and punishing the ungrateful. He has promised to give the people “everything,” but if he sees them expecting to be given “everything,” he will rage at them.
When Puerto Rican officials grasped the dynamic, and dutifully praised their commander-in-chief for his attentive and not-at-all-incompetent handling of the disaster, it set the stage for Trump to flip from scornful race-baiting autarch to generous favor-dispensing autarch. The scene of the president tossing out paper towels to his citizens like they were contest winners recalled Immortan Joe favoring his subjects by turning on the water spigot.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich: "This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward..."

Say what you mean coach.
San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovitch spoke out today on drumpf’s silence on the fallen soldiers in Niger. And, boy, did he speak. 

The Nation: — Dave Zirin:
“We’ve all seen San Antonio Spurs’ future Hall of Fame coach Gregg Popovich in a state of exasperation on the sidelines, or in post-game news conferences. Many of us have also heard him speak with great vexation and clarity about the direction of this country and the actions of Donald Trump, particularly on Trump’s “disgusting tenor and tone and all the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic.” But I have never heard this man so frustrated, so fed up, and so tense with anger than today.
Here is what he expressed:
Coach Pop:
I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this President had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families, is so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.
This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner–and to lie about how previous Presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers–is as low as it gets.  We have a pathological liar in the White House: unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this President should be ashamed because they know it better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.”
You speak for many Americans, Pops.

Bless you.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wow. John McCain - "We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil."

John McCain receives Liberty Medal from Vice President Biden tonight in Philadelphia.
I’ve had my differences with John McCain, but he is my Captain tonight.

Receiving the Liberty Medal in Philly tonight, McCain made as important a speech as any made in this century.

His repudiation of Trump/Bannonism was utter and complete.
Old Navy Airmen never die...they just kick some ass.
“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.
We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil. We are the custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad. We have done great good in the world. That leadership has had its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did. We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don’t. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn’t deserve to.”
Full Text:
Thank you, Joe, my old, dear friend, for those mostly undeserved kind words. Vice President Biden and I have known each other for a lot of years now, more than forty, if you’re counting. We knew each other back when we were young and handsome and smarter than everyone else but were too modest to say so.

Joe was already a senator, and I was the Navy’s liaison to the Senate. My duties included escorting senate delegations on overseas trips, and in that capacity, I supervised the disposition of the delegation’s luggage, which could require – now and again – when no one of lower rank was available for the job – that I carry someone worthy’s bag. Once or twice that worthy turned out to be the young senator from Delaware. I’ve resented it ever since.

Joe has heard me joke about that before. I hope he has heard, too, my profession of gratitude for his friendship these many years. It has meant a lot to me. We served in the Senate together for over twenty years, during some eventful times, as we passed from young men to the fossils who appear before you this evening.

We didn’t always agree on the issues. We often argued – sometimes passionately.

But we believed in each other’s patriotism and the sincerity of each other’s convictions. We believed in the institution we were privileged to serve in. We believed in our mutual responsibility to help make the place work and to cooperate in finding solutions to our country’s problems. We believed in our country and in our country’s indispensability to international peace and stability and to the progress of humanity.

And through it all, whether we argued or agreed, Joe was good company. Thank you, old friend, for your company and your service to America.

Thank you, too, to the National Constitution Center, and everyone associated with it for this award. Thank you for that video, and for the all too generous compliments paid to me this evening. I’m aware of the prestigious company the Liberty Medal places me in. I’m humbled by it, and I’ll try my best not to prove too unworthy of it.

Some years ago, I was present at an event where an earlier Liberty Medal recipient spoke about America’s values and the sacrifices made for them. It was 1991, and I was attending the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The World War II veteran, estimable patriot and good man, President George H.W. Bush, gave a moving speech at the USS Arizona memorial. I remember it very well. His voice was thick with emotion as he neared the end of his address. I imagine he was thinking not only of the brave Americans who lost their lives on December 7, 1941, but of the friends he had served with and lost in the Pacific where he had been the Navy’s youngest aviator.

‘Look at the water here, clear and quiet …’ he directed, ‘One day, in what now seems another lifetime, it wrapped its arms around the finest sons any nation could ever have, and it carried them to a better world.’

He could barely get out the last line, ‘May God bless them, and may God bless America, the most wondrous land on earth.’

The most wondrous land on earth, indeed. I’ve had the good fortune to spend sixty years in service to this wondrous land. It has not been perfect service, to be sure, and there were probably times when the country might have benefited from a little less of my help. But I’ve tried to deserve the privilege as best I can, and I’ve been repaid a thousand times over with adventures, with good company, and with the satisfaction of serving something more important than myself, of being a bit player in the extraordinary story of America. And I am so very grateful.

What a privilege it is to serve this big, boisterous, brawling, intemperate, striving, daring, beautiful, bountiful, brave, magnificent country. With all our flaws, all our mistakes, with all the frailties of human nature as much on display as our virtues, with all the rancor and anger of our politics, we are blessed.

We are living in the land of the free, the land where anything is possible, the land of the immigrant’s dream, the land with the storied past forgotten in the rush to the imagined future, the land that repairs and reinvents itself, the land where a person can escape the consequences of a self-centered youth and know the satisfaction of sacrificing for an ideal, the land where you can go from aimless rebellion to a noble cause, and from the bottom of your class to your party’s nomination for president.

We are blessed, and we have been a blessing to humanity in turn. The international order we helped build from the ashes of world war, and that we defend to this day, has liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. This wondrous land has shared its treasures and ideals and shed the blood of its finest patriots to help make another, better world. And as we did so, we made our own civilization more just, freer, more accomplished and prosperous than the America that existed when I watched my father go off to war on December 7, 1941.

To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.

We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil. We are the custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad. We have done great good in the world. That leadership has had its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did. We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don’t. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn’t deserve to.

I am the luckiest guy on earth. I have served America’s cause – the cause of our security and the security of our friends, the cause of freedom and equal justice – all my adult life. I haven’t always served it well. I haven’t even always appreciated what I was serving. But among the few compensations of old age is the acuity of hindsight. I see now that I was part of something important that drew me along in its wake even when I was diverted by other interests. I was, knowingly or not, along for the ride as America made the future better than the past.

And I have enjoyed it, every single day of it, the good ones and the not so good ones. I’ve been inspired by the service of better patriots than me. I’ve seen Americans make sacrifices for our country and her causes and for people who were strangers to them but for our common humanity, sacrifices that were much harder than the service asked of me. And I’ve seen the good they have done, the lives they freed from tyranny and injustice, the hope they encouraged, the dreams they made achievable.

May God bless them. May God bless America, and give us the strength and wisdom, the generosity and compassion, to do our duty for this wondrous land, and for the world that counts on us. With all its suffering and dangers, the world still looks to the example and leadership of America to become, another, better place. What greater cause could anyone ever serve.

Thank you again for this honor. I’ll treasure it.
This former sailor and present American Thanks You, Senator.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Charles Blow's column is a thing of beauty: "Trump can't hold a candle to Obama..."

Drumpf cannot touch Obama.
It has become abundantly clear that The "Effen" Moron's only clear mission is to destroy President Barack Obama’s legacy. As his very malicious decision to end the subsidy for poor people under the ACA shows, Drumpf is prepared to hurt millions of Americans in his evil quest to tear down that which Obama built. But the thing is, to The Evil One’s great dismay, the harder he tries to tear down his predecessor’s hard work, the more he himself is diminished even as Mr. Obama’s stock continues to rise.

You just must read today’s column from New York Times columnist Charles Blow. It’s entitled, “Trump, Chieftain of Spite.

It must be cold and miserable standing in the shadow of someone greater and smarter, more loved and more admired. It must be infuriating to have risen on the wings of your derision of that person’s every decision, and even his very existence, and yet not be able to measure up —  in either stratagem or efficacy — when you sit where that person once sat.
He continues…

This is the existence of Donald Trump in the wake of President Barack Obama. Trump can’t hold a candle to Obama, so he’s taking a tiki torch to Obama’s legacy. Trump can’t get his bad ideas through Congress, but he can use the power of the presidency to sabotage or even sink Obama’s signature deeds.
In fact, if there’s a defining feature of Trump as “president,” is that in all ways he is the anti-Obama — not only on policy but also on matters of propriety and polish. While Obama was erudite, Trump is ignorant. Obama was civil, Trump is churlish. Obama was tactful, Trump is tacky.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

"I Hate Everyone in the White House!": Trump Seethes as Advisers Fear President Is "Unraveling"

President Donald Trump. (photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
President Donald Trump. (photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
By Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair
13 October 17

In recent days, I’ve spoken with a half dozen prominent Republicans and Trump advisers, and they all describe a White House in crisis as advisers struggle to contain a president who seems to be increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.

t first it sounded like hyperbole, the escalation of a Twitter war. But now it’s clear that Bob Corker’s remarkable New York Times interview—in which the Republican senator described the White House as “adult day care” and warned Trump could start World War III—was an inflection point in the Trump presidency. It brought into the open what several people close to the president have recently told me in private: that Trump is “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.”

The conversation among some of the president’s longtime confidantes, along with the character of some of the leaks emerging from the White House has shifted.

There’s a new level of concern. NBC News published a report that Trump shocked his national security team when he called for a nearly tenfold increase in the country’s nuclear arsenal during a briefing this summer. One Trump adviser confirmed to me it was after this meeting disbanded that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron.”

In recent days, I spoke with a half dozen prominent Republicans and Trump advisers, and they all describe a White House in crisis as advisers struggle to contain a president who seems to be increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.

Trump’s ire is being fueled by his stalled legislative agenda and, to a surprising degree, by his decision last month to back the losing candidate Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican primary. “Alabama was a huge blow to his psyche,” a person close to Trump said. “He saw the cult of personality was broken.”

According to two sources familiar with the conversation, Trump vented to his longtime security chief, Keith Schiller, “I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate them!” (A White House official denies this.) Two senior Republican officials said Chief of Staff John Kelly is miserable in his job and is remaining out of a sense of duty to keep Trump from making some sort of disastrous decision. Today, speculation about Kelly’s future increased after Politico reported that Kelly’s deputy Kirstjen Nielsen is likely to be named Homeland Security Secretary—the theory among some Republicans is that Kelly wanted to give her a soft landing before his departure.

One former official even speculated that Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have discussed what they would do in the event Trump ordered a nuclear first strike. “Would they tackle him?” the person said. Even Trump’s most loyal backers are sowing public doubts. This morning, The Washington Post quoted longtime Trump friend Tom Barrack saying he has been “shocked” and “stunned” by Trump’s behavior.

While Kelly can’t control Trump’s tweets, he is doing his best to physically sequester the president—much to Trump’s frustration. One major G.O.P. donor told me access to Trump has been cut off, and his outside calls to the White House switchboard aren’t put through to the Oval Office. Earlier this week, I reported on Kelly’s plans to prevent Trump from mingling with guests at Mar-a-Lago later this month. And, according to two sources, Keith Schiller quit last month after Kelly told Schiller he needed permission to speak to the president and wanted written reports of their conversations.

The White House denies these accounts. “The President’s mood is good and his outlook on the agenda is very positive,” an official said.

West Wing aides have also worried about Trump’s public appearances, one Trump adviser told me. The adviser said aides were relieved when Trump declined to agree to appear on the season premiere of 60 Minutes last month. “He’s lost a step. They don’t want him doing adversarial TV interviews,” the adviser explained. Instead, Trump has sat down for friendly conversations with Sean Hannity and Mike Huckabee, whose daughter is Trump’s press secretary. (The White House official says the 60 Minutes interview is being rescheduled.)

Even before Corker’s remarks, some West Wing advisers were worried that Trump’s behavior could cause the Cabinet to take extraordinary Constitutional measures to remove him from office. Several months ago, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversation, former chief strategist Steve Bannon told Trump that the risk to his presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment—the provision by which a majority of the Cabinet can vote to remove the president. When Bannon mentioned the 25th Amendment, Trump said, “What’s that?” According to a source, Bannon has told people he thinks Trump has only a 30 percent chance of making it the full term.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Former Wharton Professor: "Donald Trump Was the Dumbest Goddam Student I Ever Had."

Donald J. Trump as Many Imagine Him in Class at Wharton on the Rare Occasions that He Attended Class

Late Professor William T. Kelley taught Marketing at Wharton School of Business and Finance, University of Pennsylvania, for 31 years, ending with his retirement in 1982.

Dr. Kelley, who also had vast experience as a business consultant, was the author of a then-widely used textbook called Marketing Intelligence -- The Management of Marketing Information (originally published by P. Staples, London, 1968).  Dr. Kelley taught marketing management to both undergraduate and graduate students at Wharton.

Dr. Bill was one of my closest friends for 47 years when we lost him at 94 about six years ago.  Bill would have been 100 this year.

Donald J. Trump was an undergraduate student at Wharton for the latter two of his college years, having been graduated in 1968.

Professor Kelley told me 100 times over three decades that “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddam student I ever had.”  I remember his emphasis and inflection — it went like this — “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddam student I ever had.”  Dr. Kelley told me this after Trump had become a celebrity but long before he was considered a political figure.  Dr. Kelley often referred to Trump’s arrogance when he told of this — that Trump came to Wharton thinking he already knew everything. 

This has relevance now because as recently as this week, President Trump has challenged the Secretary of State of the United States to an I.Q. contest.…  This came within two days after NBC reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the President a “moron”… or a “fucking moron”…  The President has frequently bragged that he was a great student at a great school (Wharton).…  Thus, the public is entitled to a contrary view from somebody who was there (Dr. Kelley), and I faithfully report it here.

Bill Kelley was one smart cookie.  His text book cited above — published in the late 1960s — was standard in his time in the then-new field of “marketing intelligence” and the necessity of using computers and data bases to manage it.

See which credits Bill for coining the quoted phrase.

Dr. Kelley’s view seems to be shared by other University of Pennsylvanians.  Please see…, from the Daily Pennsylvanian, stating: 

Another biographer, Gwenda Blair, wrote in 2001 that Trump was admitted to Wharton on a special favor from a “friendly” admissions officer. The officer had known Trump’s older brother, Freddy.
Trump’s classmates doubt that the real estate mogul was an academic powerhouse.
“He was not in any kind of leadership. I certainly doubt he was the smartest guy in the class,” said Steve Perelman, a 1968 Wharton classmate and a former Daily Pennsylvanian news editor.
Some classmates speculated that Trump skipped class, others that he commuted to New York on weekends. . . .
* * * 
1968 Wharton graduate Louis Calomaris recalled that “Don ... was loath to really study much.”
Calomaris said Trump would come to study groups unprepared and did not “seem to care about being prepared.”
Thanks and R.I.P., Bill Kelley!  The words ring in my ears: “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddam student I ever had.”

Friday, October 13, 2017

Don't Call It 'Toxic Masculinity.' These Guys Are Sociopathic Baby-Men

Donald Trump and Bill Cosby. (photo: Getty)
Donald Trump and Bill Cosby. (photo: Getty)

By Heather Havrilesky, The Cut
11 October 17
n any other year, Thursday’s New York Times article on Harvey Weinstein’s long history of sexual harassment might have felt like yet another story of a powerful man in Hollywood, abusing his power. The studio head who demands head in exchange for a plum role is such an accepted part of the sickness of the industry that it’s a long-running joke. That’s certainly how his lawyer Lisa Bloom seemed to want us to see Weinstein when she referred to him as “an old dinosaur trying to learn new ways.”

But this is the year of our lord 2017, soon to be known as the Year of the Sociopathic Baby-Man, and it feels like we’re cursed by an increasingly grotesque subspecies of this infantile beast at every turn. Does the world even feel real to powerful men, or is it more like playing an exciting video game? How else do two world leaders with nuclear weapons capable of murdering millions of people trade juvenile insults like toddlers battling over a toy? What else makes it seem fun and exciting to break a window in a hotel tower and point one of 43 assault weapons out a window at a crowd below? Are we really going to hold our collective breaths and watch these angry fools determine our fates? How is this reality?

In the Year of the Sociopathic Baby-Man, it’s more than a little challenging to view Weinstein as a friendly dinosaur, or to take the humble words of his open letter to the Times seriously. “Though I’m trying to do better,” he wrote, “I know I have a long way to go.” We’re meant to picture a sad, old, nearly extinct beast, brought low and forced to reflect on his sins closely for the first time ever — and not, say, I don’t know, a guy who’s been paying women to stay quiet for over two decades now. I mean, this guy kept signing settlement papers then turning around and doing the same thing all over again —and again, and again. Jesus, imagine the sheer tedium of that! Imagine insisting that one young employee or actress after another meet you in your hotel room, day after day. Casually opening your robe to reveal your naked body to her.

Why? Because “they let you,” as the Sociopathic Baby-in-Chief once put it? Imagine either not registering the look of disgust that washes over each woman’s face, or worse yet, enjoying it. This repulsion reminds you that you’re powerful. This fear means that you’re scary and intimidating and not just an oversize infant with unsightly patches of body hair and a sick robot brain rattling around in your bloated skull.

When you really slow down the tape on Weinstein — or Trump, or Cosby, or Stephen Paddock, or Richard Spencer, and make no mistake, you have to work very hard not to draw lines between these men by now — what you see more than anything else is a profound lack of connection to other human beings. It’s not just that women or strangers or people of color or children of immigrants or Muslims don’t rate in their world. It’s that other human beings in general are utterly irrelevant. You are useful and part of the club or you’re cast out like trash. The second you’re not useful, you are waste. Or you were always waste. Your feelings about the matter couldn’t be less relevant. Whether or not their behavior will ruin you or literally end your life and the lives of countless others is utterly insignificant to these people.

Let’s not call that toxic masculinity. Saying “toxic masculinity” implies that masculinity is the core problem here, and suggests that a tiny bit of masculinity might also be a tiny bit poisonous. Using the word masculinity suggests that all men have a toxic core. I don’t buy that. What we’re seeing in the Sociopathic Baby-Man bestrides the world of ordinary men like a colossus. It’s more important than ever to make this distinction. Equating every man with the very worst, most repugnant, infantile robot-men alive is, pragmatically speaking, a very bad idea. Because these Sociopathic Baby-Men are not fucking around. Those who have power seem to become more and more powerful by the day. Their money grows. They seek out and surround themselves with other Sociopathic Baby-Men who recognize in them the same core values of zero values and zero concern for the future of humanity.

I know I sound like a fucking comic-book writer now, but this is no joke. These motherfuckers will make all of our lives miserable, simply because their fun video game can never end, they want to play it over and over and over. They are tenacious, they are insatiable, they want more ruin, if that’s what it takes, and we need every one of us — man, woman, all — to fight this scourge.

Because it’s not just that the Sociopathic Baby-Man believes that he can take whatever he wants, grab whatever he wants to grab and “they let you do it.” (Why do they let you do it, again?) It’s not just that he’s greedy and sick and corrupt and selfish and unfair and lacks any semblance of empathy. It’s that the world hardly even exists for him at all. He navigates a dreamscape. He doesn’t just feel very little empathy for other humans. He feels nothing at all, for anyone. He is entirely subsumed by his self-created fantasy. He moves through an imaginary realm.

When you read that Times article and others about Weinstein — and then you read Kate Aurthur’s BuzzFeed interview with Rose McGowan, how McGowan seems to hint that she experienced violations by Weinstein as a kind of death the age of 23 (“It alters the course of your life”), and then you imagine all of the women and men whose lives were altered or whose careers Weinstein stalled out or ended (based on what? A moment of hesitation or disgust? Some sign that they were actual human beings with wills of their own?) it becomes clear that Weinstein and everyone who colluded with him and empowered him over the course of the two decades have just offered us a frightening picture of exactly how we lose our grip on this beautiful world forever. For the powerful, it’s simple: You say whatever you want, and they let you. You grab what you want, and they let you. And the people around you stand by and they roll their eyes and silently back away — or they pat you on the back as you do it.

What’s most shocking of all right now might be the chorus of voices saying “We knew all along, and wondered when the truth would come out!” The truth doesn’t come out until someone is very brave. In this, the Year of the Sociopathic Baby-Man, we have no more excuses. We know this villain pretty well now. We have lots of very vivid examples of his kind. We know what he’s capable of. We all have to be brave now, and speak the truth to power. Because he might be a dinosaur, but he’s far from extinct, and he’s more than a little bit dangerous.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

FEMA: "Not our job to deliver water and food" to Puerto Ricans. Think I am making this up? Wrong!

This is in Santurce. YESTERDAY. Keep that in mind when you read this.
FEMA says it is not their responsibility to distribute food and water to Puerto Rican survivors of Maria and Irma, according to a recent report by Rachel Maddow.  Are you serious?!

That was the response Rachel got when FEMA was asked why it has been almost 3 weeks since the last hurricane hit Aibonito, a small town high in the mountains about an hour south of San Juan, and FEMA has yet to deliver a single bottle of water.

FEMA claims the roads aren’t passable,   For the record, when I say “about an hour south” I mean Google Maps puts the drive — right now — at 1 hour and 5 minutes if I take the autopista (highway).  BUT it also says there are portions of the road that are closed.  Soooo you have to take route 173 and that takes 1 hour and 24 minutes.

Maybe Google is wrong, right?  It would be nice if someone on the ground could actually make the trip…. oh wait… what’s that?  The MSNBC film crew already made the trip and it took them “about an hour and a half.”

As the MSNBC video shows, they got there no problem because the road was clear. No bridges out, no trees in the way, no mudslides, no raging rivers.  Not even bad hombres. I realize the last menace would be Mexicans and there shouldn’t be any Mexicans clogging up the roads in Puerto Rico right now. But we all know to the Trump Klan, Puerto Ricans are just Island Mexicans, so they probably worry about that sort of thing.

Presented with the fact of Maddow’s team having video evidence directly contradicting their claims,  FEMA then dropped this bombshell: Apparently, FEMA says it is the mayor’s job to distribute food and water. They are just there to help people fill out paperwork. Forget the fact that about half of the people in Puerto Rico have no access to clean water. Forget the fact that it is now confirmed that people are dying from waterborne diseases like leptospirosis because they lack potable water.

Forget the fact mayors in small towns didn’t even have satellite phones until a couple days ago.  Forget the fact mayors don’t have fleets of trucks at their disposal. They sure as hell don’t have gas for the trucks they do have.  Oh… and when they do, look out the window because the situation can always change on you.  That picture above was from Monday in downtown Santurce, a couple of blocks from the main Post Office.  Good thing FEMA doesn’t have to deal with that.  We’d really be screwed.

Maybe it’s just too damn bad.  A real tragedy.  If only there was something we could do. If only FEMA could help.  Yeah, I know.  That’s hard to swallow. Especially when FOX News reported THIS about FEMA in Lakeland, FL responding to the crisis following a recent hurricane that hit there
LAKELAND (FOX 13) - People who are worn out from Hurricane Irma are getting help in Polk County.
On Friday, FEMA starting handing out free food and water at 11 different sites around the county, including Victory Church.
A long line of cars formed at 8 a.m., and continued throughout the day. Many of the people who came still don’t have electricity.
The difference?  Unlike Aibonito, Lakeland is over 70% white, and that is the darkest part of Polk County.  But I’m sure that has nothing  to do with it.  While we are pretending this isn’t the most racist federal government in 70 years, explain something to me Mike Pence, you shameless hypocrite. 

When you stood in a House of God in Puerto Rico and declared from the pulpit after reading scripture:
“We are with you today, we are with you tomorrow.”
Were you being literal?  Did you only mean you were with Puerto Ricans until October 8th?  I ask because shortly after you went off to do your Sunday Football PR stunt, you guys let the Jones Act reactivate. Not only did you throw up a choke point on every domestic relief operation heading towards Puerto Rico, you also raised the prices on EVERYTHING coming in to Puerto Rico at a time when people are desperately trying to get stuff to family and friends stranded on an island. In the middle of water. Big water. Ocean water.  You know this isn’t like Lakeland Florida where folks can drive to Georgia if they need to.  Way to go, douchebag.

I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked by this.  I mean, yeah you guys are a bunch of white supremacists and all, but this sure doesn’t sound like the Christian thing to do.  Especially from a guy who has the balls to let his wife lead a church in prayer after reading a bible passage that says:
“Love one another with mutual affection.” 
I’ll be honest.  I’m not shocked.  Not even a little bit.  This confirms what I have been saying all along.

The game plan in Puerto Rico is clear. 

The sons of bitches are going to grind those poor bastards into dust, trigger a mass exodus of those who can afford to leave, and then swoop in and buy up the land at fire sale prices so they can build high priced condos to use as real estate for their next international money laundering scheme.

What surprises me? There are still Puerto Ricans who think the most racist government in 70 years is going to help them. 

Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017 · 5:34:31 AM USMST · Victor Klemperer Respawned 

While we are at it.  Someone needs to remind FEMA about their OWN WEBSITE.

Where it states in Black and White their CORE CAPABILITIES, including this:

Critical Transportation

  • Mission Area: Response
  • Description: Provide transportation (including infrastructure access and accessible transportation services) for response priority objectives, including the evacuation of people and animals, and the delivery of vital response personnel, equipment, and services into the affected areas.
Call me crazy if you want, but I would put delivering water down as a “vital service” for people stranded in the mountains for weeks.