Thursday, August 29, 2019

Will It Ever End?


On Tuesday, Trump seemed exasperated. When, he wanted to know, will those damn Puerto Ricans, stop having hurricanes already! He's pissed off and he's not going to take it any more! He doesn't even seem angry at Dorian; he's angry at Puerto Rico and at Puerto Ricans. He stole some of the money allocated by Congress for hurricane relief for the last one to use for his foolish wall. Jonathan Chait, in his column for New York Magazine yesterday, Trump Is Ordering Crimes To Get Wall Built Before Election, noted that "Trump is an instinctive authoritarian who came into office lacking even a rudimentary understanding of government. But he is beginning to grasp the potentialities available to a despotically inclined leader, and the tool that has most excited him is the pardon power." He uses as an example a report from the Washington Post about how Trump "has instructed his subordinates to break any laws they have to in order to complete his wall by Election Day. 'When aides have suggested that some orders are illegal or unworkable, Trump has suggested he would pardon the officials if they would just go ahead... He has waved off worries about contracting procedures and the use of eminent domain, saying take the land, according to officials who attended the meetings.'"

I had dinner with a member of the Judiciary Committee last night, who told me that Trump hasn't built one inch of wall so far, just some improvements on fencing that the Obama administration had legally put up. Chait continued in his essay that "It is important context to understand that the wall project itself is an attack on the separation of powers. The power to allocate funds for a domestic project like a border wall belongs to Congress-- a fact nobody on either side even disputed until recently."
Trump has previously directed border officials to violate the law and promised to pardon them in advance. CNN reported in April that Trump told Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan to block asylum seekers from entering the country in violation of U.S. law, promising him a pardon.

Trump has already used his pardon power liberally to reward political allies, pardoning right-wing heroes like Joe Arpaio, Conrad Black, and Dinesh D’Souza. Last spring, CNN reported that Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer dangled a pardon in front of Michael Cohen if he would perjure himself to protect Trump. The implicit (or possibly explicit) promise of a pardon has likely encouraged Roger Stone and Paul Manafaort-- the two Trump agents in most direct contact with Russia’s election operation-- to withhold cooperation from the Mueller probe, thereby permitting Trump’s campaign to avoid conspiracy charges.
Yesterday Tropical Storm Dorian was officially named Hurricane Dorian and slammed into the Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico was barely spared, but by the weekend, Florida-- likely the east coast of Florida, from Mar-A-Lago through Stuart and Port St. Lucie to Vero Beach, Cocoa and Palm Bay-- is in for a thrashing. A swing state for the 2020 election, at least Trump will try to appear to be helping them with damage control.

Trump, who has had a repulsive animus towards Puerto Ricans for his whole racist life, inherited from his Nazi father, keeps repeating a false claim that Congress sent $92 billion of aid money to Puerto Rico. Congress has allocated $42.5 billion to disaster relief for Puerto Rico, and only around $14 billion ever actually arrived. The loudmouthed pig and fake president "reignited his ongoing feud with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, calling her 'incompetent.' But his specific complaint had to do with what he considers her ingratitude for the help the island received after the devastating Hurricane Maria two years ago... In a later tweet he attacked the entire U.S. territory, saying 'Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth. Their political system is broken and their politicians are either Incompetent or Corrupt... 'And by the way, I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to Puerto Rico!' Trump added."
"Will his racism and his vindictive behavior toward the people of Puerto Rico ever end?” Cruz asked CNN host John Berman during an interview on Tuesday evening. “As you have said, this is not how a president behaves. This is not how a human behaves in the face of adversity."

Cruz tweeted: “It is reprehensible that yet again Trump chooses to lie. Will it ever end? Congress has approved $40b and $14b have been disbursed. Would it be too much to ask for you to act Presidential and do your job without a lie or an insult?”

A year after Hurricane Maria struck as a Category 4 storm, Trump said Democrats had inflated the death toll number to nearly 3,000 “to make me look as bad as possible” and repeatedly accused Puerto Rico officials of “trying to use the massive and ridiculously high amounts of hurricane/disaster funding to pay off other obligations.”

Trump, who days earlier touted himself as “an environmentalist” and reportedly floated the idea of trying to deter hurricanes with nuclear bombs, has denied any responsibility for the slow response to Puerto Rico disasters, blaming Puerto Rican leaders and the island's infrastructure. Earlier this month, following a recent scandal involving the governor of Puerto Rico and misuse of federal contracts, the Trump administration moved to restrict billions of dollars in federal disaster aid for Puerto Rico, according to the Washington Post.

“It seems like some people have learned the lessons of the past or are willing to say that they didn’t do right by us the first time and they are trying to do their best,” Cruz said Tuesday evening. “That is not the case with the president of the United States.”

“Three thousand Puerto Ricans did not open their eyes this morning because this racist man did not have it within him to do his job,” she added. “So get out of the way, President Trump, and let the people that can do the job get the job done.”

Commenting on Trump skipping out on the G-7's discussion of the Climate Crisis, AOC noted in an e-mail to her supporters that "Leaders like Trump and Bolsonaro have evolved past the stage of being climate deniers-- they’re officially catastrophe enablers. It’s not just their refusal to take powerful action on climate change that’s the issue, but their insistence on choices that accelerate us towards Armageddon. But Trump and Bolsonaro are too far gone. We’ll never overcome their special interests, oil barons, and flat-out ignorance to wrangle real climate action out of them. That’s why for now, we have to target our next climate enemy: apathy. We need to get voters off the sidelines, into the polling stations, and converted into warriors for powerful action on climate change, millions of new green jobs, and true restorative justice for communities that have been left behind."

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At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it will end. It will end the moment Mother Nature puts us out of our misery.

At 6:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

please nuke dorian when the eye is over mar-a-lago. please. please. please.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Godless said...

I'd love to see Dorian wipe the Mar-A-Lago Golf Course off the map but you just know that Trump would use FEMA money to rebuild it sans bedbugs.


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