Uncle Ben Carson had a tough day in Congress between the Chumph’s obscene Puerto Rico comments, and the Chumph Budget cuts….
Uncle Ben Carson had a tough day in Congress between the Chumph’s obscene Puerto Rico comments, and the Chumph Budget cuts….
It appears corruption and nepotism is still alive in Puerto Rico. A tiny firm with connections to a Chumph Cabinet member gets a massive contract…
For the sprawling effort to restore Puerto Rico’s crippled electrical grid, the territory’s state-owned utility has turned to a two-year-old company from Montana that had just two full-time employees on the day Hurricane Maria made landfall.
The company, Whitefish Energy, said last week that it had signed a $300 million contract with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to repair and reconstruct large portions of the island’s electrical infrastructure. The contract is the biggest yet issued in the troubled relief effort.
Whitefish said Monday that it has 280 workers in the territory, using linemen from across the country, most of them as subcontractors, and that the number grows on average from 10 to 20 people a day. It said it was close to completing infrastructure work that will energize some of the key industrial facilities that are critical to restarting the local economy.
The power authority, also known as PREPA, opted to hire Whitefish rather than activate the “mutual aid” arrangements it has with other utilities. For many years, such agreements have helped U.S. utilities — including those in Florida and Texas recently — to recover quickly after natural disasters.
The unusual decision to instead hire a tiny for-profit company is drawing scrutiny from Congress and comes amid concerns about bankrupt Puerto Rico’s spending as it seeks to provide relief to its 3.4 million residents, the great majority of whom remain without power a month after the storm.
“The fact that there are so many utilities with experience in this and a huge track record of helping each other out, it is at least odd why [the utility] would go to Whitefish,” said Susan F. Tierney, a former senior official at the Energy Department and state regulatory agencies. “I’m scratching my head wondering how it all adds up.”
PREPA’s executive director, Ricardo Ramos, and a spokesman did not respond to emails asking why the utility didn’t activate the mutual-aid network. On a tour of the idled Palo Seco power plant, Ramos told reporters that Whitefish was the first company “available to arrive and they were the ones that first accepted terms and conditions for PREPA.”
Ramos said that the utility is “completely content” with the work Whitefish is doing. “The doubts that have been raised about Whitefish, from my point of view, are completely unfounded,” he added, saying that concerns about Whitefish were probably spread by jealous competitors.
Whitefish officials have said that the company’s expertise in mountainous areas makes it well suited for the work and that it jumped at the chance when other firms were hesitating over concerns about payment. The company acknowledges it had only two full-time employees when Maria struck but says its business model calls for ramping up rapidly by hiring workers on short-term contracts.
Spokesman Chris Chiames dismissed criticism about the company’s qualifications. “We are taking personal risks and business risks working in perilous physical and financial conditions,” Chiames said. “So the carping by others is unfounded, and we stand by our work and our commitment to the people of Puerto Rico.”
Anyone who is Hispanic and Republican is in deep shit right now. Republicans in Florida, a state they have managed to hold through voter suppression and razor thin margins…
Are about to become an extinct lower life form species.
That is what happens when a half million new Puerto Rican voters move to Florida because they have no electricity, food, housing, or water due to the Chumph”s racism.
This Trump as president crap show is about ready to finally come to a head as Republican electoral domination in the 2016 races are now looking at major risk.
In my state of Virginia, the Republican Gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie decide to court the Chump’s support…He is now 11 points down in a state where Republicans have been very competitive at the state level. If the chickenshit Democrats don’t do their usual f*&k up trying to be more conservative…Then they have an opportunity to take the Senate, and quite possibly the House.
Republican strategist Rick Wilson warned that President Donald Trump’s desultory response to the Puerto Rico hurricane was risking the party’s future in Florida for years to come.
As many as 100,000 Puerto Ricans have fled the crisis in the U.S. territory for the nearest state, and hundreds of thousands more American citizens from the island could join them there — possibly for good.
That could transform Florida in many ways, but it could very well end its position as a crucial swing state — especially if Trump follows through on his threat to pull FEMA, military and first responders from Puerto Rico.
“Set aside the WH/FEMA happy talk, and look at the numbers of new Puerto Rican voters in FL in six months,” Wilson tweeted. “They were already inclined to vote Dem. They were already coming here due to economic pressures.”
He warned Republicans to distance themselves from the president’s insulting treatment of Puerto Ricans or risk electoral disaster.
“The situation in P.R. is desperate and he’s adding insult to many injuries,” Wilson tweeted. “Good luck being a GOP candidate who has Trumpstank all over you running in the places they move to in FL. (And they’re mostly moving to FL)”
The GOP strategist suggested Trump’s inadequate response might appeal to his racist base, but he said it could doom candidates trying to win a general election.
“And because he basically believes Puerto Ricans are Sea Mexicans and not American citizens,” Wilson tweeted, “he knows his base will think tossing paper towels is an adequate response to American citizens suffering desperate conditions.”
Asshole does it again – Mocking Puerto Rico…
Closing in on time for another “Slave Revolt”.
First we get the POS Chumph discussion in Puerto Rico about a “real disaster” –
There are likely hundreds dead. Unfortunately the process used to certify death in Puerto Rico is held up by damage due to the storm.
On Wednesday, the Puerto Rico government, maintained that the official number of deaths as a result of the catastrophe was 16. But the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, for its initials in Spanish) has confirmed that there are dozens of hurricane-related deaths and the number could rise to the hundreds.
The dead are at the hospital morgues, which are at capacity and in remote places where the government has yet to go. In many cases, families are unaware of the deaths. The government’s Demographic Registry is responsible for certifying deaths so bodies can be removed by funeral homes, many of which are not operating because of lack of resources. The agency began to certify some of the dead Monday, Health Secretary Rafael Rodríguez-Mercado confirmed in an interview.
Public Safety Secretary Héctor Pesquera told the CPI that the names of the dead because of the hurricane will not be revealed until relatives can be notified. The continuing lack of communication has kept many people from knowing the whereabouts of their families. Since the storm’s immediate aftermath, many people have gone daily to radio stations so the on-air personalities can announce the names of family members with whom they have been unable to communicate.
President Donald Trump told Puerto Rican officials Tuesday they should be “very proud” that hundreds of people haven’t died after Hurricane Maria as they did in “a real catastrophe like Katrina.”
“Every death is a horror,” Trump said, “but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous — hundreds and hundreds of people that died — and you look at what happened here with, really, a storm that was just totally overpowering … no one has ever seen anything like this.”“What is your death count?” he asked as he turned to Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. “17?”“16,” Rosselló answered.“16 people certified,” Trump said. “Sixteen people versus in the thousands. You can be very proud of all of your people and all of our people working together. Sixteen versus literally thousands of people. You can be very proud. Everybody watching can really be very proud of what’s taken place in Puerto Rico.”
The racist POS Chumph opens his mouth again to lie…
…Trump called out truckers in Puerto Rico as not helpful enough, which may have been based on false reports from right-wing blogs that the island’s Teamsters union had gone on strike.
“We need their truck drivers, their drivers have to start driving trucks,” Trump said. “We have to do that, so at a local level they have to give us more help. I will tell you the first responders, the military, FEMA, they have done an incredible job in Puerto Rico, and whether it’s (the San Juan mayor) or anybody else, they’re all starting to say it. I appreciate very much the governor and his comments. He has said we have done an incredible job and that’s the truth.”
U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Valle said “zero blame” should be placed on truckers, many of whom are unable to get to work due to storm damage or are unable to get fuel for their vehicles….
The real problem?
…Then there’s the issue of sustaining operations at Crowley’s port. Powering generators — including for a large amount of refrigerated containers, which contain perishable food and medicine — requires 2,500 gallons of diesel per day. There’s also a lack of fuel for trucks to deliver these supplies to the 3.4 million Americans across the island.
“It makes me sad and frustrated,” said Jose Pache Ayala, vice president of Crowley Puerto Rico Services. “Just to see that we have here all these goods, and that people out there are just begging, anxious, in the need of such important supplies and they are all sitting here in this yard.”
One of the biggest supermarket chains on the island, Supermercados Econo, has 104 containers in the Crowley yard and is only slowly moving them out. Major food distributor V Suarez has 114 containers. Wal-Mart has 70 containers stuck at the terminal for lack of trucks, drivers and fuel to move them out.
There are 226 supermarkets ready to open across the island, but they can’t open their doors until they have the diesel to fuel generators to power the buildings, according to the head of the food and beverage association.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has stepped in to help alleviate the fuel distribution disruption. On Wednesday afternoon, more than a dozen fuel trucks departed Crowley’s terminal in San Juan.
The Department of Defense has also stepped in to support FEMA’s efforts to stabilize the situation…
And just today –
…Two weeks after Hurricane Maria plowed into the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, cutting power and hobbling fuel distribution, finding gasoline and diesel has become a regular ordeal for the island’s 3.4 million residents, with no guarantee of success.
Rodriguez, a 63-year-old retiree with a bright shock of white hair and beard, was one of the lucky few on Monday. He managed to purchase enough gasoline for both his car and his generator at home, where he cares for his 93-year-old father.
Fuel scarcity has been one of the major headaches facing hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, which relies on gas shipped from the U.S. mainland.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello on Monday reported progress in getting fuel supplies to the island, with 500,000 barrels of diesel and close to 1 million barrels of gasoline due to arrive in upcoming days.
More than 720 of the island’s 1,100 gas stations were now up and running, Rossello added, which he said should allow more Puerto Ricans to operate generators and get around.
Puma Energy, which is partially owned by commodities trading giant Trafigura, operates six terminals on the Caribbean island, and is working with the regional government to add more delivery trucks to its fleet….
Why it took so long to get fuel to Puerto Rico –
…Some members of Congress want the Trump administration to suspend shipping restrictions that would allow more fuel and emergency supplies to reach Puerto Rico.
The Jones Act prohibits foreign-flagged vessels from picking up and delivering fuel between U.S. ports. That act was suspended from Sept. 8 through Sept. 22 to allow shipments to Texas and Florida after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Puerto Rico was included under that waiver for petroleum products.
Since that suspension ended Sept. 22, the Trump administration hasn’t issued a new one for Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria struck. That hurricane wiped out the power supply, destroyed cell towers and led to massive fuel shortages on the island that relies on diesel for much of its power.
President Trump, who plans to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday, said the administration is studying the waiver request, but that shipping interests are opposed.
“Well, we’re thinking about that, but we have a lot of shippers and a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don’t want the Jones Act lifted, and we have a lot of ships out there right now,” Trump said. “And I will tell you the governor was very generous yesterday with some statements and so was the mayor of San Juan; very, very generous with their statements.”…