Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Trumpie, you're doing a heckuva job

by digby

On Tuesday, Politico reported that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida made a trip to Puerto Rico to assess the damage from Hurricane Maria:
Saying he needs to “raise the alarm” about Puerto Rico’s dire straits, Sen. Marco Rubio told the White House on Tuesday that the federal government needs to take over recovery efforts on the island quickly to prevent a Hurricane “Katrina-style” disaster in the U.S. territory. 
“This has the potential of being a serious humanitarian crisis in a U.S. territory impacting United States citizens,” Rubio told POLITICO on Tuesday before delivering a similar message in a face-to-face meeting with Vice President Mike Pence. “There’s going to have to be a lot more hands-on federal engagement for us to be able to successfully carry out the mission.”

The White House announced that President Trump would be going to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands next Tuesday. In the meantime, no other American officials are allowed to go.

Rubio was not the only one to evoke the government's disastrous response to Katrina back in 2005. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said this:
The response has been anemic. Back when we had Katrina I said at a news conference that God would not be pleased with our response. And God would certainly not be pleased with this response.
Last Sunday Hillary Clinton tweeted this:
President Trump, Sec. Mattis, and DOD should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens
The administration belatedly announced two days later that they were sending the Comfort, a hospital ship. It leaves four days from now and will take another five days to get there.

Over the weekend, Puerto Rico's governor, Ricardo Rosselló, gave numerous interviews saying he hoped the government would send more than the bare minimum of help, even as he thanked FEMA and the military. On Monday the mayor of San Juan, the island territory's capital, tearfully begged for more assistance, saying that a humanitarian crisis was unfolding before our eyes.

Meanwhile, in between obsessing about NFL players protesting police brutality and insulting John McCain for refusing to vote for the latest Obamacare repeal bill, the president grudgingly tweeted about Puerto Rico, apparently suggesting that the island's debt problems had to be "dealt with" as a condition of disaster aid. On Monday he held a press conference with the Spanish president in which he claimed that Puerto Rican officials were telling "anyone who will listen" what a great job Donald Trump was doing:
[A] massive effort is underway, and we have been really treated very, very nicely by the governor and by everybody else. They know how hard we're working and what a good job we're doing. As Gov. Rosselló just told me this morning, the entire federal workforce is doing great work in Puerto Rico, and I appreciated his saying it. And he's saying it to anybody that will listen.
When asked for follow-up, Trump helpfully explained that Puerto Rico is "an island sitting in the middle of an ocean," which for some reason made it "tough" to get supplies there. But the main thrust of his comments was what a great job he was doing:
The governor of Puerto Rico is so thankful for the great job that we're doing. . . . The governor said we are doing a great job. . . . We have had tremendous reviews from government officials . . . and this morning, the governor made incredible statements about how well we're doing. . . . So everybody has said it's amazing the job that we've done in Puerto Rico, we're very proud of it. . . . I think we've done a really good job . . . and we are going to do far more than anybody else would ever be able to do and it's being recognized as such.
George W. Bush was vilified in the wake of Katrina for saying eight words that captured his obliviousness to the depth of devastation and horror: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." He was of course speaking to his hapless FEMA director Michael Brown, who resigned shortly thereafter. Bush's approval ratings never recovered. Those words will forever be part of his legacy of failure.

Bush had been on a fundraising trip and was photographed with John McCain and a birthday cake while New Orleans was underwater and people were stranded on rooftops. It was seen as a political truism that no president could ever be caught short that way again. Trump had seemed to understand that lesson when Harvey and Irma hit, and although he is terrible at any aspect of the job that requires empathy or personal interaction with strangers, he and Melania dressed up in some casual gear and flew down to the disaster area to be photographed pretending to give a damn. It even boosted his lousy poll numbers a bit.

With Puerto Rico, other than to insist that everyone is incredibly impressed with what a terrific, fabulous, amazing job he is doing, he isn't even trying. For some reason, he doesn't seem to think the American people will hold it against him the way they held it against Bush when an American city drowned before their eyes.

That's the rub, isn't it? Donald Trump has never acknowledged that the 3.5 million people of Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens. He talks about how far away the island is and how big the ocean is that separates us. He never mentions that it's part of our country. As Amy Davidson Sorkin in the New Yorker put it, "instead of emphasizing that closeness, or a sense of mutual obligation, Trump has, so far, focused on how different Puerto Rico is, and what its people owe him, which is, above all, their gratitude."

Trump must not have heard Gov. Rosselló when he said:
We are U.S. citizens that just a few weeks ago went to the aid of other U.S. citizens even as we’re going through our fiscal downturn and as we were hit by another storm. Now, we’ve been essentially devastated. Complete destruction of the power infrastructure, severe destruction of the housing infrastructure; food and water are needed. My petition is that we were there once for our brothers and sisters, our other U.S. citizens, now it’s time that U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are taken care of adequately, properly.
I suspect that if the president were to focus on the job at hand instead of worrying about NFL ratings and his imaginary tax cut plan, if he were to address the American people with exactly that message, most Americans would rally to their fellow citizens.

Unfortunately, all we're getting so far is "Trumpie, you're doing a heck of a job." It remains to be seen if he will be held to account for this callous and shocking behavior or if this is yet another norm Donald Trump has blown to smithereens. Only 3.5 million lives hang in the balance.