tRUMP in Puerto Rico is pure embarrassment for America
Wed Oct 4, 2017 2:36am

tossing paper towels to people, after dedicating a GOLF TROPHY to the victims of hurricanes? Really?

Telling the people there that "they've really blown up the budget" with the mess there? Really?

Bragging on what a wonderful job he's done there after arriving more than a week afterwards while 90+% are still without power? Really?

Telling them to be really proud they don't have to deal with "real catastrophe, like Katrina"? Really? I mean, REALLY ???

This man is an egotistical, ignorant LUNATIC

Trump's Puerto Rico Visit Is a Political Disaster

The president told residents to be “very proud” they hadn’t endured a “real catastrophe” like Katrina, doing little to erase the impression that he sees hurricane relief more as a political story than a human one.

Updated on October 3 at 2:36 p.m.

Making his first appearance in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico since Maria’s landfall, President Trump offered a hearty round of congratulations to federal relief efforts and thanked the island’s governor. But the president also suggested Maria was not a “real catastrophe,” made an odd and misleading comparison to the death toll from Hurricane Katrina, and joked about how the hurricane would affect the federal budget.

It was a typically strange, disjointed appearance by the president, and it came just days after Trump spent much of the weekend picking fights with the mayor of San Juan and insisting that, against all evidence, the recovery effort had largely responded to Puerto Rico’s needs. At Muñiz Air Force Base, Trump was eager to praise the work of federal agencies, including FEMA, the Air Force, the Navy, and the Coast Guard, amid a chorus of criticism that Washington’s response has been too slow and too small. But that praise led him in strange directions.

“Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here and what is your death count? Sixteen people, versus in the thousands,” Trump said. “You can be very proud. Sixteen versus literally thousands of people.”

That statement is problematic in several ways. The idea that Maria was not a “real catastrophe” defies all evidence, and any discussion of the death toll is premature. While the official number remains at 16, where it has been for several days without update, officials have acknowledged it will end up much higher. The Center for Investigative Journalism reported Monday that “dozens” of people are dead, with bodies piling up in morgues, even as the official count has not kept pace. Trump’s decision to use Hurricane Katrina as a benchmark also makes little sense and belittles the suffering in Puerto Rico. Katrina is both the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history since 1928 and a prime example of a mismanaged disaster. Trump also overstated the toll of Katrina which was less than 2,000.

Trump also misstated Maria’s strength at landfall. “Few people have ever even heard of a Category 5 hitting land, but it hit land, and boy did it hit land,” he said, but the storm was a Category-4 storm when it struck. Trump also said the Coast Guard had saved 16,000 lives in Texas. It’s unclear where he got that number; the Coast Guard has claimed 11,000 rescues.

Later, after his briefing, Trump visited a church where he tossed toilet paper and paper towels into the crowd, shooting them like basketballs to a crowd.

Throughout the aftermath of the storm, Trump has often appeared more interested in the political ramifications of the storm than on the human effects, focusing on approval of himself and the federal government (though he doesn’t really draw a distinction between the two). This was also true at Muñiz Air Force Base. In praising Governor Ricardo Rosselló, for example, Trump reached for the lens of partisan affiliation.

“He’s not even from my party and he started right at the beginning appreciating what we did,” Trump said. “Right from the beginning, this governor did not play politics. He was saying it like it was, and he gave us the highest rates.”

This was an implicit jab at San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who has been critical of relief efforts, and whom Trump claimed over the weekend was doing so because Democrats had put her up to it. As I noted, his broadside against Cruz serves as a warning to politicians like Rosselló not to follow her lead, lest Trump punish them too. (Speaking in Washington Tuesday, before taking off, Trump said of Cruz, “Well, I think she’s come back a long way. I think it’s now acknowledged what a great job we’ve done, and people are looking at that.” It’s unclear what he is referring to. She attended Tuesday’s briefing.)

Trump also greeted Jenniffer González-Colón, a Republican who is Puerto Rico’s delegate to the U.S. House, and asked her to praise federal efforts.

“I watched the other day and she was saying such nice things about a lot of the people who are working so hard,” he said. “Jenniffer, do you think you could say a little bit what you said about us? It’s not about me, it’s about these incredible people from the military, from FEMA, the first responders.”

Yet as with his premature celebration of the death toll, Trump’s comments about Puerto Rico and Maria still fell far short of empathy, and were in some cases strangely tone-deaf. Before leaving for Puerto Rico, Trump complained that rather than the federal government not doing enough, it was Puerto Rican authorities who weren’t doing enough to hasten the recovery.

“On a local level, they have to give us more help,” he said in Washington. “But I will tell you, the first responders, the military, FEMA, they have done an incredible job in Puerto Rico.”

During his briefing, he made an apparent attempt at a joke about the cost of recovery. “I hate to tell you Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack,” he said. “That’s fine. We saved a lot of lives.” Yet the remark comes in the context of Trump repeatedly mentioning Puerto Rico’s debts as both a reason for the slow recovery and a reason to think hard about reconstruction there. Nor did he make similar remarks after hurricanes in Texas and Florida.

Meanwhile, after thanking an Air Force general present at the briefing, Trump went on a strange digression about the F-35 fighter jet, a troubled boondoggle whose cost Trump negotiated down with the manufacturer. The discussion of the plane was roughly as lengthy as the president’s discussion of the victims of the storm, and it had nothing to do with the hurricane. If the Puerto Rico visit sought to reverse the impression that Trump has not taken Maria seriously and does not feel empathy for its victims, Tuesday’s briefing did not help the cause.

    • His is the egoPH☠☠EY, Sun Oct 8 11:21am
      that invokes WW3. Korea is the perfect fuse for this man's ego. Elements on the NSC are pushing an attack. Hubris at this level in this day and age can bring about national suicide. We are in deep... more
    • ...that wouldn't be likely to get me a visit from unsmiling men in bad suits.
    • Could you maybe find a more ridiculously slanted article next time? lol Every President in recent memory has gone to disaster areas and done the obligatory photo op of passing out supplies. And his... more
    • I have a black widow on my desk Pikes, Wed Oct 4 7:21am
      She doesn't throw paper towels into a crowd as a gesture of helping, nor dedicate a golf trophy to their endurance, or tell them to be grateful it wasn't a really serious storm like Katrina. She is a ... more
      • You should get that checked on.PH💉💊EY, Wed Oct 4 11:10pm
        I had pneumonia for five years before it was diagnosed. One shot and it was gone (I hope). What is your altitude? Please don't tell me Trump actually tossed out paper towel rolls in PR.
        • My latest problem:PH💉💊EY, Sat Oct 7 6:24am
          I type on this spyware using my index finger. But a wood splinter from stacking firewood has become infected. It's a swollen white bubble type rise that is pulsating pain at the tip. So I have to... more
        • checked on.Pikes, Wed Oct 4 11:29pm
          Alt 5700 feet. Not high. Trump tossing paper towels into PR crowd.
          • Oh my🙄PH🙄🙄EY, Thu Oct 5 4:12pm
            Well they ARE useful, but hardly edible or drinkable. Perhaps he should have handed out cake. I suppose it works as a toilette paper. Airforce One could have buzzed the Island and dropped beans and... more
            • Since Halloween is coming, Pikes, Fri Oct 6 2:16am
              why not pumpkins from 10,000 feet? Then a follow up with frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving. I'm sure Puerto Rico would enjoy going cold turkey from Trump.
              • Good ideas!PH👻👻EY, Sat Oct 7 6:14am
                After which the honey bucket on AF1 can be discharged.
      • You NEED antibiotics !! You won't get better without medical care and that would be a crime against humanity if you don't. I'm working on my fourth major infection in 4 months time. Without... more
        • I am glad you have access to health care. I am slowly getting better, so something good, or right is happening.
          • water as it not only soothes a sore throat, but it kills germs at the same time. I haven't any idea what to do for a respiratory infection though. Just stay on top of it with plenty of fluids and... more
            • I think singing low bass helpsPikes, Thu Oct 5 10:48pm
              I have a low C, (C2, C, -xC, Great). When I am rested, and my voice is fresh, I can go down to the next C, (CC, C1, -yC, Contra). Lately with this thing, I can do that more easily. I found that... more
              • Not sure what my voice classification is.PH👏🏾👏🏾EY, Fri Oct 6 10:37am
                Medium range. But on occasion with a cold the range can drop quite a lot. Almost to basso. And the sound is great. Wish I were a basso... with great projection.
                • In fact, I'm often mistaken for a young'un on the phone due to my soft spoken, high-pitched voice.
                  • That's better than PH👀EY, Sat Oct 7 6:12am
                    having phone engages saying "yes sir" as a lady friend was laughing about this the other day. She does have a deep Beau Arthur voice.
            • Good advice.PH💊💉EY, Thu Oct 5 4:42pm
              I had some weird flu-like attack in the spring. And my throat was very sore. I don't eat sugar except as a chocolate fix now and again. But I use honey in my coffee and on my cereals. I took a couple ... more
              • metal flask when we had a sore throat or a miserable cold. It soothed it. If something "instantly" cures it, then it's either super dry throat or a heavy, thick, post nasal drip stuck to the back of... more
              • Very short sore throatPikes, Thu Oct 5 11:03pm
                My throat was only sore for little more than a day, with a couple very intense hours, with a cough so bad I nearly puked. Since then, its the rattling when I breathe, and I'm a little tired and... more
                • Get some Mucinex!wondering, Fri Oct 6 5:37am
                  You might live through it this time, but next time go to a walk-in clinic and get some antibiotics to go along with the Mucinex. Do not wait for it to get better. Trust me. I've been there.
                • Sounds like bronchitisSia☺giah, Fri Oct 6 1:48am
                  Inflammation of the airways causes them to narrow and secrete thick mucus, or phlegm, which clogs the small airways, causing the characteristic cough of bronchitis, wheezing, and shortness of breath. ... more
                  • Many GarciasPikes, Fri Oct 6 2:00am
                    I won't be foolish about this. I can be foolish, and fool like. But I didn't feel like this was that visit from Brunnhilde. Feeling crappy is one thing. Dying is another. The low notes still feel... more
                    • Just watch for pneumonia or pleurisySia☺giah, Sat Oct 7 12:28am
                      Pneumonia can set in overnight and you'll be in deep sneaks then with higher costs than just a quick doctor visit. If you've gone over to bronchitis, and get that often, just call your GP and ask for ... more