While Trump Tweets, Puerto Rico Still Waiting

September 26, 2017


Image here from a stunning photo essay in the Atlantic, highly recommended to see more at link. Jaw dropping.

The Atlantic:

Five days after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, its devastating impact is becoming clearer. Most of the U.S. territory currently has no electricity or running water, fewer than 250 of the island’s 1,600 cellphone towers are operational, and damaged ports, roads, and airports are slowing the arrival and transport of aid. Communication has been severely limited and some remote towns are only now being contacted. Jenniffer Gonzalez, the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, told the Associated Press that Hurricane Maria has set the island back decades.

Angela Fritz in the Washington Post:

“Puerto Rico is a fantastic place and deserves the best, which is what we will deliver. Every detail will be important to me.”

If only.

President Trump said this about his failed golf course in Puerto Rico back in 2008, when he promised that his brand would revive a troubled resort and help buoy the recession that hit the island especially hard.

Instead, the resort fell into bankruptcy and left the Puerto Rican taxpayers with a nearly $33 million bill.

And this weekend, instead of talking about the plight of these 3.4 million American citizens living in total devastation, Trump posted 10 taunting tweets about the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.

But the Puerto Rican governor is worried that the mainland isn’t understanding the scope of the destruction.

“This is a major disaster, not unlike Katrina or Sandy. There is going to be a hefty toll for us to make sure that we can reestablish normalcy and build Puerto Rico back stronger,” Rosselló said.

It’s going to be more than meals and construction to bring Puerto Rico back. The destruction also hit airports and ports.

FEMA said Sunday that the U.S. Coast Guard has nine cutters in the vicinity of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, there are at least 5,000 FEMA workers, and the National Guard and military helicopters are helping with rescues and evacuations.
But this is going to be a long-haul effort, and it’s pretty clear that Puerto Rico isn’t topping any news cycles.

Puerto Rico, like the District, has a nonvoting delegate in Washington. But Rubio is seen as the island’s quiet champion. This year’s statehood bid ended up going nowhere.

Congress not only ignored the vote of a territory with a staggering poverty rate and aging infrastructure, but Trump also slapped down the island’s efforts to close a Medicaid shortfall.

“Democrats are trying to bail out insurance companies from disastrous #ObamaCare, and Puerto Rico with your tax dollars. Sad!” he tweeted in April. And then, “The Democrats want to shut government if we don’t bail out Puerto Rico and give billions to their insurance companies for OCare failure. NO!”

He addressed Puerto Rico in one tweet Wednesday:

“Governor @RicardoRossello- We are with you and the people of Puerto Rico. Stay safe! #PRStrong.”

But Puerto Rico deserves more than one tweet.

If not because of the turquoise waters, astounding rain forests, beautiful people and military bases, then because of the potential wave of migration to the U.S. mainland by more than 3 million American citizens, which could overwhelm cities and destabilize families.

Puerto Rico needs to become a priority, because it’s the right thing to do.

12 Responses to “While Trump Tweets, Puerto Rico Still Waiting”

  1. How presidential is it to start unnecessary fights with the NFL? Stirring up anger while people die in Puerto Rico is absurd.

    • ubrew12 Says:

      Trump is just trying to promote patriotism toward the anthem with his tweets. And by suggesting that NFL owners fire anyone who doesn’t express such patriotism, he made it clear he meant ‘patriotism’ toward the almighty dollar, and not the country.

      • 3 days later and this asshole is still fighting the NFL fight. Facepalm time. Do your fucking work instead of picking petty fights.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          The Orange Drumpfster has NO idea what the job of POTUS entails and has NO ability to carry it out. Would you pick a drooling slack-jawed fifth grader off a school playground and ask him to do the work of being POTUS? No? Because that’s what you’re doing if you expect Trump to ever measure up.

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    The photo gallery in the Atlantic piece is far more worrisome than what we saw from Harvey and Irma—-I’m just going to copy and post verbatim a comment I made on another thread a couple of days ago for those who haven’t seen it. Nothing has changed since then and it’s now perhaps even more relevant. To wit:

    dumboldguy Says: September 24, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Perhaps you mean that the cries of the few victims interviewed are loud when we do hear them? Or is it loud in a figurative sense to those of us who understand how badly damaged PR is? I live less than 30 miles from DC, and I hear almost NOTHING coming from Trump Land except platitudes—-he is too busy engaging in his twitter wars to pay attention to “real” news about 1% of the American population.

    We now hear very little about the aftermath of Harvey and Irma either. The media wore itself out with its coverage of the heroics of people helping other people and how strong and resilient the “victims” are and how they WILL rebuild and how well government responded etc etc ETC. That kind of stuff is now “old news” and has been worn out after Harvey and Irma—-besides, we have to devote reporting time to how SOB football players should be fired, the playground fights of Rocket Man and The Orange Menace, and how the Russia Thing is a hoax and a witch hunt.

    Yes, PR is NOT as white as Iowa by a long shot—-all them folks with hispanic and black ancestry in PR—-and that is, IMO, going to keep anyone’s hair from lighting up, just as it didn’t for Katrina and won’t for the poor black and brown folks impacted by Harvey in Houston and Irma in Florida. America IS from its beginnings a racist institution, after all, a SLAVE NATION (subtitled How Slavery United the Colonies and Sparked the American Revolution) a book published back in 2005 that got almost no attention then or now. I’m in the middle of reading it now, but here’s a synopsis

    “This carefully documented, chilling history presents a radically different view of the profound role that slavery played in the founding of the republic, from the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution through the creation of the Constitution. The book begins with a novel explanation about the impact of the Somerset Case on the founding of the republic.

    “In 1772, a judge sitting in the High Court in London declared slavery “so odious” that it could not exist at common law and set the conditions which would consequently result in the freedom of the 15,000 slaves living in England. This decision eventually reached America and terrified slaveholders in the collection of British colonies, subject to British law. The predominantly southern slave-owners feared that this decision would cause the emancipation of their slaves. It did result in some slaves freeing themselves.

    “To ensure the preservation of slavery, the southern colonies joined the northerners in their fight for “freedom” and their rebellion against England. In 1774, at the First Continental Congress John Adams promised southern leaders to support their right to maintain slavery. As Eleanor Holmes Norton explains in her introduction, “The price of freedom from England was bondage for African slaves in America. America would be a slave nation.”

    “Thomas Jefferson relied on this understanding when carefully crafting the stirring words of the Declaration of Independence. In 1787, about the time Benjamin Franklin proposed the first affirmative action plan, negotiations over a new Constitution ground to a halt until the southern states agreed to allow the prohibition of slavery north of the Ohio River. The resulting Northwest Ordinance created the largest slave-free area in the world. Slave Nation is a fascinating account of the role slavery played in the foundations of the United States that traces this process of negotiation through the adoption of Northwest Ordinance in 1787, and informs our understanding of later events including the Civil War and the Civil Rights Act of 1964″.

    PS. There has been very little said about how climate change DID contribute to all three disasters, and that has what little hair I have left on fire as well.

  3. stephengn1 Says:

    My favorite response from the whole standing/kneeling “patriotic” PC brouhaha

  4. wpNSAlito Says:

    Looks like major tornado damage, BUT OVER THOUSANDS OF SQUARE MILES.

  5. redskylite Says:

    After the shock & horror & images of shattered lives and homes in those Caribbean islands, we are pretty sure that Climate Change did not cause the hurricanes, but most likely fed and intensified the events, by the known physics involved. Will this be just another memory that fades in time ? or will it repeat and repeat ? Only time will tell. Modelling seems to suggest that there might be fewer hurricane events in the future, but those that do occur will be much more intense and damaging (such as Irma and Maria).

    Again it is proof that authorities need to devote time and money to developing infrastructures, both on building design and power, rather than to dismiss simply as an act of god and carry on as in the 19th-20th century as before.

    It was good to read that some progress and inroads have been made on microgrids and advanced energy techniques, enabling a quicker recovery.

    Energy News: In Storm After Storm, Advanced Energy Showed Resiliency

    “This week’s tides carried in news reports of recovery but also about resilient technologies that helped keep power on and hastened the restoration of power. This deluge of examples demonstrates that preparedness and investment in advanced energy can help communities improve their resiliency in the face of catastrophic storms.

    Besides all the visual coverage we’ve seen on national television broadcasts, the U.S. Energy Information Administration has perhaps one of the best illustrations of a storm making landfall and the resulting power outages over time. In the agency’s Sept. 20 post about Hurricane Irma striking Florida, an animated time-lapse shows 6.7 million electricity customers—nearly two thirds of the state—losing power county by county as the storm worked its way North across the state. The good news is that power was restored in most of the state over the next few days. EIA reported that the fast rebound was a result of investments made by utilities to upgrade electric infrastructure, like replacing wooden utility poles with concrete ones and deploying smart grid technologies to better detect and manage outages and target restoration. ”


  6. redskylite Says:

    And it is also good to see the cooperative spirit and detente generating some enthusiasm and thrust among students and professionals alike. Only by this spirit will we defeat the challenge that we have created upon ourselves.

    Climathon is a global 24-hour climate change hackathon which will take place simultaneously in major cities around the world on 27 October 2017.

    It brings together the challenges of the world’s cities with the people who have the passion and ability to solve them. Climathon attracts innovators, entrepreneurs, students and professionals to create innovative solutions to cities climate challenges.


  7. Meanwhile
    Elon is rushing Powerwalls and solar panels and installers

    Waiting for assistance that is not self serving from the Mercers, Koch and the GOP Superpac donors.

    For who is coming up with help Robert Scribbler has an article and the comments have much info and links

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Elon is also again pushing MARS colonization within a few years and talking about sending two people on a flight around the moon and back in 2018 (they’ve already paid). But don’t hold your breath, because Musk has never made a deadline yet.

  8. dumboldguy Says:

    Some talk about how the Puerto Rico response is minuscule compared to how we responded to the Haiti earthquake. Including some small “excuse making” and blaming PR for the problem. (Meanwhile, Trump is still tweeting BS)


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