Tag Archives: Hurricane Maria

Another unsubstantiated assertion from POTUS

It wasn’t enough for Donald Trump to insult Puerto Ricans by visiting the island territory and tossing rolls of paper towels in one of the stranger photo ops in modern presidential history.

Or that he denigrated the suffering of those Americans by suggesting the death toll (at the time) didn’t rival that of a “real tragedy” such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Now he blurts out yet another evidence-free assertion that Puerto Ricans are squandering relief money on things unrelated to the rebuilding of the island infrastructure. The president says the island government is using the money to pay off debts.

Let me add — with emphasis and a healthy dose of extreme anger — that he’s saying this without providing a scintilla of proof to back up his assertion.

Trump takes aim at PR again

Does this guy have any boundaries of good taste, good sense, compassion, empathy, sincere heartache? Any of it? All of it?

No! He doesn’t.

Instead, he continues to fire off accusations, innuendo and gossip about matters about which he knows not a damn thing.

Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, which wasn’t in great shape to begin with. It killed nearly 3,000 of Puerto Rico’s residents, who I should add are U.S. citizens.

Relief was slow to arrive in the wake of the killer storm. Yet the president boasted about the “great job” he was doing.

The mayor of San Juan has engaged in a public spitting match with the president, which I suppose is likely the reason for Trump’s latest baseless tweet accusing “inept politicians” of doing something on which he has no basis.


Yep, the image still puzzles

Not quite a year ago Donald Trump ventured to Puerto Rico and promptly made an ass of himself.

He did it with his mouth and with the gesture pictured above. He tossed rolls of paper towels at a crowd of people who had come to hear the president offer words of comfort and encouragement as they struggled with the aftermath of a killer hurricane named Maria.

I have watched that video countless times and I am left to wonder: What in the name of humanitarian relief was the president trying to convey with that silly gesture?

Then came this Twitter message from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and frequent Trump critic: Almost a year later, Trump is reportedly still fuming over this video. In the aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, he’s more concerned about his public image than the deaths of thousands of Americans. Absolutely sickening.

In a weird sort of way, I understand the president’s “fuming” over the video of him tossing the paper towels. What I don’t understand is at whom is he angry? If he’s mad at staffers who might have told him that flipping the towels would make good “optics,” then I sort of get why he’s hot under the collar.

Then again, he should’ve known better. Isn’t this guy a TV “reality show” star who’s supposed to be media savvy enough to know what makes good optics and what goes over like passing gas in a spacesuit?

Well, you live and learn. Unless you’re Donald Trump … and you know all there is to know already.

This is how a POTUS with no shame functions

Donald John Trump is actually proud of his shamelessness.

He takes pride, or so it appears, in the notion that he won’t apologize for mistakes. He won’t even acknowledge them. He speaks from his gut and let’s it stand. Or … he doubles or triples down on the thoughtless and arrogant statement that flies out of his mouth, or gets blasted into the Twitter-verse.

Thus, we have a president of the United States refusing to back down on that idiotic, brainless, evidence-free, crass and despicable statement that nearly 3,000 Americans didn’t die when Hurricane Maria blasted through Puerto Rico one year ago.

The president has said, in effect, that the loved ones who lost 2,975 of their own in that terrible storm are fake. They aren’t really grieving. They aren’t mourning their loss.

Trump has disparaged the independent review of the Puerto Rican territorial government that established a death toll that, by golly, exceeded the number of victims who perished when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005.

Trump tweeted this: β€œWhen Trump visited the island territory last October, OFFICIALS told him in a briefing 16 PEOPLE had died from Maria.” The Washington Post. This was long AFTER the hurricane took place. Over many months it went to 64 PEOPLE. Then, like magic, β€œ3000 PEOPLE KILLED.” They hired….

And then this: ….GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?). This method was never done with previous hurricanes because other jurisdictions know how many people were killed. FIFTY TIMES LAST ORIGINAL NUMBER – NO WAY!

Meanwhile, as the Carolina coast was bracing for the Hurricane Florence onslaught, the president had the gall to declare the federal response to Hurricane Maria an “unsung success.”

It was nothing of the sort.

A president with a sense of shame would acknowledge that the government he was elected to lead could have done better.

Not this fellow. He is merely “telling it like it is.”


Hey, Mr. POTUS, what about the rest of the country?

It has become an established fact that Donald John Trump Sr. loves talking exclusively to those who support him no matter what.

He speaks their language; they adhere to his message.

The latest so-called “dog whistle” was blasted out today when the president fired off a Twitter message in which — and this is really rich — he actually denied that nearly 3,000 Americans died from the wrath brought to Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.

He blames the death toll on Democrats who are intent on making him look bad. That’s it! The Puerto Rico territorial government’s death toll, revised way upward from a formerly official count of 64 fatalities, is a plot, a conspiracy.

He made this astonishing, idiotic and utterly baseless claim as Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolina coast, threatening to bring even more havoc to the Eastern Seaboard.

Let’s talk, briefly, about his Puerto Rico remarks.

It’s easy to say that the president doesn’t know what he’s talking about. However, he knows precisely what he’s saying. He is speaking to his “base,” the 35 or so percent of voting-age Americans who are behind him to the very end. The base doesn’t care about the truth. It doesn’t care about reality. It cares only that Trump stands up to the so-called “mainstream media,” those who oppose him.

Trump himself declared during the 2016 campaign that he could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes.” Americans were aghast in the moment when Trump said it. That boast doesn’t seem quite so ridiculous now.

So he continues to talk to the base. He continues to make assertions without a scintilla of evidence to back them up. Democrats are to blame for the deaths of all those U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico? Millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016? He watched “thousands of Muslims” cheering the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11? Barack Hussein Obama was born in Kenya and was ineligible to run for president?

That’s what I call “fake news.”

That’s it, Mr. POTUS: Blame the Dems for all those PR deaths!

Donald J. “Tweeter in Chief” Trump is at it again.

He is offering yet another evidence-free accusation against his political opponents. This time, it involves what he alleges is the purposely inflated death toll from Hurricane Maria, the storm that killed 3,000 Americans in Puerto Rico.

Oh, my. You just gotta pull your hair out!

The president tweeted the following:

3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…

And then he followed it up with this gem:

…..This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!

There you have it. It’s all about the president. He blames Democrats who want to make him look “as bad as possible.”

This man disgraces his office daily, if not hourly.

Trump getting serious backlash

Hurricane Maria killed nearly 3,000 American citizens. The island territory was decimated. Federal authorities were slow on the uptake. That is beyond doubt, debate or discussion.

The president’s latest Twitter tirade dishonors the memory of those who perished. Rest assured, the shrinking political base that follows Trump’s every lie will buy it part and parcel.


Storm response might reveal truth about Maria

Donald J. Trump, as is his habit, told a serious lie when looking back on the administration’s response to Hurricane Maria’s devastating attack on Puerto Rico.

He called it an “unsung success,” which it wasn’t. It was a disastrous display of incompetence.

So … now the administration is preparing for another monstrous storm. Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Carolina coast. Federal emergency management officials have ordered evacuations along Atlantic coasts of North and South Carolina.

The president said this week that “we’re ready” for the storm to make landfall. It will land likely as a Category 4 monster, packing winds of 150 mph, producing storm surges exceeding a dozen feet and bringing as much as 2 feet of rainfall.

We’re about to see just how well the government can respond to Mother Nature’s wrath. In a curious sense, we’ll also get to compare this response to what the president described as a glowing success a year ago when Hurricane Maria killed nearly 3,000 Americans in Puerto Rico.

I damn sure want the government to deliver on its promise of being “ready” for this storm, even if its response to Hurricane Florence reveals where the feds fell short in the Caribbean.

The nation is hoping for the best.

Remembering 9/11 … with false praise

Donald J. Trump chose to remember 9/11 in a most curious — and shameful — manner.

Yes, he went to Shanksville, Pa., and delivered some moving remarks paying tribute to the passengers who fought the hijackers intent on crashing United 93 into the U.S. Capitol.

Then he returned to the Oval Office and boasted about how “great” the government performed a year ago when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. The response, he said, was the best in history.

Oh, but wait! The death toll in Puerto Rico has been, um, adjusted. Instead of 64 deaths, we now know that 2,975 Americans died from the wrath of the storm that ravaged the island territory.

It took a year to restore power. Food and water was painfully slow to arrive.

So, on the day supposedly dedicated to remembering the heroes and victims of 9/11, the president decided to lie — yet again — about the government’s response to a human tragedy in Puerto Rico.

Donald Trump’s penchant for self-aggrandizement continues to amaze many Americans. Sure, he has those who support him. They’ll cheer him on. Not me.

The president’s inability to set aside the false narrative about the government’s response to a tragic event demonstrates yet again the president’s ignorance about the complex nation he was elected to govern.

Maria: a ‘real tragedy’ after all?

Well now, it turns out that the hurricane named Maria that devastated Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands was more than a footnote in the history of natural disasters.

You might recall how Donald Trump thought to compare the then-measly death toll of 16 to a “real tragedy” that struck New Orleans in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina stormed ashore.

The territorial government today has declared that 2,975 Puerto Ricans — all American citizens — died when Hurricane Maria all but destroyed the island territory.

Reasonable folks know that it was a tragedy anyway, even when the official death toll stood at 64.

Do you think the president might offer a mea culpa now that we know the real number of fatalities? Um. I don’t think so.

Puerto Ricans are Americans, too

I honestly don’t know if there’s been an uptick in the Age of Trump in episodes such as the one shown on the video below.

But it surely gives me pause. Yes, there seems to be more of these kinds of episodes being reported these days.

The video that has gone viral demonstrates the absolute hateful ignorance of some Americans. The guy in this video is berating a young woman for wearing a shirt that depicts the flag of Puerto Rico.

He said she needed to wear an “American” shirt. The woman reminded the man of what is obvious to most of us: that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.

An interesting back story developed as well. The police officer shown in the video didn’t respond to help the woman; he didn’t get the man to back off. He was put on leave by his department and then he resigned.

This whole Puerto Rico issue came to a head this past summer in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which savaged the island territory. The federal government was accused of dragging its feet to help the island’s 3.5 million residents. Why the delay? Critics said the government didn’t feel the need to rush to Puerto Ricans’ aid the way it did in, say, Texas and Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey.

But the idiot shown in this video personifies hateful ignorance that cannot be tolerated.

This is a contentious time in our nation’s history. We must not allow frightening bullies to intimidate their fellow Americans.

Always time to thank first responders

Not quite five years ago I posted an item on High Plains Blogger that thanked the first responders who helped Amarillo cope with a massive snow storm.

This year, we haven’t been through that particular form of discomfort. Our first responders haven’t been pulling motorists out of snow drifts, or worked day and night to restore electrical power.

Others, though, have been busy fighting grassfires that erupt in the wind and bone-dry conditions that have signaled the return of severe drought conditions to the Texas Panhandle.

A special word of thanks goes out today

I’ve noted before in this venue about how we should always appreciate the work of those who answer the call when times get tough.

The Texas Gulf Coast has been through an epic deluge created by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey. The 2017 hurricane season also brought destruction and misery to Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. California residents — from Napa Valley to Santa Barbara — have been victimized by raging flames. Americans throughout the Upper Midwest to the East Coast this winter have been battling unspeakable cold, wind, snow and sleet. So has the Deep South, which has seen record cold.

They, too, depend on those first responders to lend aid, comfort and support.

I am absolutely certain they appreciate all the hard work that goes into their protection.

This is my way of offering yet another word of thanks to the men and women who sign on to rush toward hazard — even danger — on our behalf.

I am grateful to have been spared the monstrous snow event that we’ve witnessed during our 23 years on the Texas High Plains. Yes, I want some moisture to fall from the sky — just not in the amount that poured forth in February 2013.

Our firefighters, police officers, utility crews, emergency medical personnel deserve our thanks always. We need not wait for disaster to visit for us to express appreciation for all that they do.