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.”…
In what can only be considered a royal “fuck you” to the desperate people of Puerto Rico…
The Chumph POS “awards” them a Golf Trophy.
Puerto Rico is crying out for food, water and resources, so the president gave them an abstract reward
As millions of Puerto Ricans plea for aid from the U.S. government,
PresidentDonald Trump provided them a trophy at a golf tournament on Sunday.
Speaking at the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey Center, New Jersey, Trump dedicated the trophy to the storm victims.
“On behalf of all the people of Texas, and, if you look today and you see what’s happening, how horrible it is but we have it under really great control, Puerto Rico. And the people of Florida who have really suffered over this last period of time with the hurricanes,” Trump said.
“I want to just remember them, and we’re going to dedicate this trophy to all those people who went through so much, that we love, that are part of our great state, really a part of our great nation,” the president added.
A person at the trophy ceremony shouted, “You don’t give a shit about Puerto Rico!” according to reporters at the event.
The Trump administration has been under fire for inadequately responding to the disaster in Puerto Rico, where of American citizens are without power. Trump has tried to silence the criticism by constantly extolling the recovery process.
Trump has not yet visited Puerto Rico but he has targeted Twitter attacks at Puerto Rican officials who have criticized his administration.
The president is scheduled to travel to Puerto Rico on Tuesday.
Yep…He went there. “The disaster is those lazy Spanish speaking brown folks fault.”
Never mind the disaster in Houston was largely the very white corrupt Republican’s fault.
We got to get rid of this racist POS – soonest. Mueller – it is time to start prosecuting this traitorous POS and his cronies, convicting them…
And sending the off to jail or hanging them.
On Saturday morning, President Donald Trump rose early at his New Jersey golf resort and tweeted insults at San Juan, Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, as well as insults to citizens on the American territory at large.
“Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help,” the president tweeted. “They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”
He went on to say that “the military and first responders, despite no electric, roads, phones etc., have done an amazing job. Puerto Rico was totally destroyed,” doubling down on rhetoric that many believe blames Puerto Rico for their own devastation in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
In response to the president, many pointed out the apparent bigotry in Trump’s comments.
“This is one of the most horrible, racist, despicable things Trump has ever said,” journalist Shaun King wrote of Trump’s comments alluding to the laziness of the Puerto Rican people.
Others pointed out that Trump’s criticism of Puerto Ricans amid their suffering was an example of victim blaming.
“Trump is victim blaming Puerto Rico via twitter (they have no power so can’t see) at his golf course,” artist Bryan Brinkman commented.
Read some of the best responses to Trump’s attacks on Puerto Rico below.
“they want everything to be done for them” they got hit by a HURRICANE, for cryin out loud, and are STARVING & DYING https://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/trump-attacks-nasty-san-juan-mayor-and-accuses-puerto-rican-workers-of-being-lazy-in-vicious-tweet-frenzy …
It’s NOT poor leadership by San Juan Mayor to help those whom she serves.
It IS poor leadership by YOU, you #racist foolhttps://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/914089003745468417 …
If he were assuming none of his supporters will care he’s abandoning people to die, b/c those people are brown, it’d look like … this.
Trump is unfit for office. He’s attacking the Mayor of San Juan, who is pleading for help to save her citizens, because she was mean to him. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/914087234869047296 …
Where’s FEMA? These are the sorts of issues they have experts to solve.
Maybe still in the CONUS because of the Chumph?
Can you imagine the response from the Federal Government if any major city in the US was hit by a natural disaster that as a result it would lose electricity for 3-6 months?
Well..That just happened to Puerto Rico.
Houston Hurricane Harvey –
President Donald Trump has already made a $7.9 billion request to Congress for emergency funding, which the House passed Wednesday. It’s just a starting point for total Harvey recovery spending; the White House says it plans to request an additional $6.7 billion soon…
Trump promised last Monday “you’re going to see very rapid action from Congress” about approving recovery dollars. “We’re going to get your funding,” he told Texans.
Florida Hurricane Irma –
Puerto Rico –
Yeah …Puerto Rico has 4 things wrking against it
None of those things should count…But under the Chumph and the Reprobates they do.
In Puerto Rico, more than 3.3 million people—who are also U.S. citizens—are still without power, electricity, cellphone service, and, in many cases, the bare necessities for survival after Hurricane Maria pummeled the island nearly a week ago. And Congress doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to help them.
Jennifer Bendery, a HuffPost politics reporter, tweeted Monday that the White House was expected to send a disaster aid request to Congress sometime during the first or second week of October.
She went on to explain that FEMA and the Office of Management and Budget first need to assess the scope of the damage in Puerto Rico—where the governor said on Monday a “humanitarian crisis” is looming if help doesn’t arrive soon—then request money. Then Congress will act.
In a worst case scenario, that means Congress, a body not exactly know for its efficacy, could only start consideration of an aid bill for Puerto Rico sometime after October 10 (the legislature won’t meet on the 9th in observation of Columbus Day), nearly three weeks after the storm first made landfall on September 20.
For context, Hurricane Harvey—whose devastation, while significant, was nowhere near as horrific as what has happened in Puerto Rico—made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm on Friday, August 25. A massive aid bill easily passed through the House on September 6 and sped through a Senate vote the next day—pushing a significant aid package to start rebuilding parts of Texas and Louisiana decimated by Harvey onto the president’s desk less than two weeks after the storm hit.
So it’s hard not to read the somewhat lackadaisical approach Congress and President Trump are taking to helping Puerto Rico, an impoverished island that’s more than $74 billion in debt, as a cynical value judgement on what’s worth rebuilding. Trump’s Twitter page, his bullhorn of choice, makes the point even clearer. Since Maria, Trump has tweeted about the devastation in Puerto Rico twice. Just since Saturday, the president has tweeted (or retweeted) messages to stoke his ongoing war on the NFL over the national anthem protests 17 times.
The Vote yesterday in Puerto Rico in a non-binding referendum to become a State is a bit misleading. 77% of the voters chose to sit out.
After years of fiscal mismanagement the “Colony” finds itself in dire straits. The vote, such as it was, is a pleas for help.
The likelihood that a Republican dominated US Congress would move forward to make Puerto Rico a state is nil. Much less the “Bigot in Charge” actually signing any bill to that effect being less than zero. It is not only driven by the fact that most Puerto Ricans vote Democrat, but the core racism of the Republicans in not wanting a Spanish language, ethnically Hispanic state to join the Union. Ergo, as we saw during the Chumph “election” – racism always wins with the white-right.
With schools shuttered, pensions at risk and the island under the authority of an oversight board in New York City, half a million Puerto Ricans voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to become America’s 51st state, in a flawed election most voters sat out.
With nearly all of the precincts reporting, 97 percent of the ballots cast were in favor of statehood, a landslide critics said indicated that only statehood supporters had turned out to the polls. Opposition parties who prefer independence or remaining a territory boycotted the special election, which they considered rigged in favor of statehood.
On an island where voter participation often hovers around 80 percent, just 23 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Voting stations accustomed to long lines were virtually empty on Sunday.
Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo A. Rosselló of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, said he planned to take the victory to Washington and press Congress to admit Puerto Rico to the union.
“From today going forward, the federal government will no longer be able to ignore the voice of the majority of the American citizens in Puerto Rico,” he said in a brief televised speech after the voting results were announced.
But his political opponents who do not want statehood argued that heading to Congress with such lopsided results would actually hurt the governor’s cause.
“A 97 percent win is the kind of result you get in a one-party regime,” former Gov. Aníbal Acevedo Vilá said in an interview. “Washington will laugh in their faces.”
Puerto Rico has been a United States territory since 1898, when the island was acquired from Spain after the Spanish-American War. Sunday’s nonbinding referendum was the fifth time during Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States that Puerto Ricans voted on their future. They have generally chosen from statehood, independence and remaining a territory.
But the process is usually marred, with ballot language phrased to favor the party in office. In 1998, “none of the above” was the top winner. In 2012, 61 percent of counted votes went to statehood — and half a million ballots were left blank.
But this time, the vote came a few weeks after Puerto Rico declared a form of bankruptcy in the face of $74 billion in debt and $49 billion in pension obligations it cannot pay. More than 150 public schools are being closed as a mass exodus of Puerto Ricans head for the mainland and those who remain brace for huge cuts to public services. Decisions are now in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.
Voters said that Puerto Rico needed the United States now more than ever.
“If there’s an earthquake in Puerto Rico, who is going to send the help? The Americans! This is their land!” said Gladys Martínez Cruz, 73, a retired tax clerk in San Juan’s Barrio Obrero neighborhood. “We need someone who is going to support us, send us money. There’s a lot of hunger in Puerto Rico, even with the help we get.”
Many Puerto Ricans, like Ms. Martínez, live off food stamps, public housing vouchers or other federal programs and worry that a change in political status could affect that aid. A huge publicity campaign warned voters that their citizenship could be at risk.
“I want my children and grandchildren to keep their American citizenship,” said Maira Rentas, a cardiac nurse in San Juan. “Little by little, with whatever votes we get, we have to try to become a state.”
Ana Velázquez, 50, a hospital secretary, said Puerto Rico’s economic problems were so great that they overshadowed other considerations, such as the language, culture and identity that could be lost if the island became a state.
“I don’t want to lose my hymn, my coat of arms, my flag. My beauty queen would no longer be ‘Miss Puerto Rico,’” Ms. Velázquez said. “I don’t see myself ever singing the United States national anthem. I really don’t. But Puerto Rico is in really bad shape, and it needs help.”
So she arrived at the same conclusion as many other Puerto Ricans: She did not vote.
Héctor Ferrer, the head of the Popular Democratic Party, which had urged a boycott, emphasized that eight out of 10 Puerto Rican voters chose to spend the day at church, on the beach or with their families. He argued that the governing party had manipulated the ballot language and even election law to fix the results.
“It was rigged, and not even with trickery could they win,” Mr. Ferrer said.
The ballot option asked voters who wanted to remain a United States territory to say they wished for Puerto Rico to stay “as it is today, subject to the powers of Congress.”
“The title of the law that made this plebiscite is ‘process to decolonize Puerto Rico,’ and one of the alternatives is ‘colony’ as defined by them,” Mr. Ferrer said.
Mr. Ferrer’s party complained about the ballot choices to the Justice Department, which withheld $2.5 million in funding for Sunday’s voting and had urged the Puerto Rican government to hold off until the ballot could be reviewed. Puerto Rico made changes but moved forward without money or approval from the Justice Department.