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After Blaming Puerto Rico’s Infrastructure And Economy, Trump Says Hurricane Aid Can’t Last ‘Forever’

This week, President Donald Trump issued another blow to the already battered island of Puerto Rico, claiming that he can’t keep aid there “forever.” Just last week, Trump was shooting paper towel free-throws at hurricane survivors and taking shots at the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, who was waist deep in water helping Puerto Ricans in need. Trump then golfed and dedicated his trophy to the victims of the disaster. Oh, and he also “celebrated” Hispanic Heritage Month by pronouncing “Puerto Rico” with some bullshit accent. Worst of all, he blamed survivors for not doing enough, calling them lazy by saying they want “everything to be done for them.”

Trump said Puerto Rico’s infrastructure is to blame for the lack of electricity, food and clean drinking water on the island.

He said there is a limit on how much help they can provide to the starving, stranded, and battered survivors of Hurricane Maria.

Come on, they can’t be there “forever.” The superlative “forever” is so condescendingly juvenile it is maddening. FOREVER? As in until the end of time and then some? Like eternally? The end of the number line? The unimaginable span of time that goes on infinitely? How about at least as long as Hurricane Harvey survivors? Or at least until people aren’t dying?

Carmen Yulín Cruz came through on Twitter and clapped back much more gracefully and intelligently than I would have.

Cruz then released a much more in-depth and biting letter, saying in all caps: “Help us. Without robust and consistent help, we will die.”

“Tweet away your hate to mask your administration’s mishandling of this humanitarian crisis. While you are amusing yourself throwing paper towels at us, your compatriots and the world are sending love and help our way. Condemn us to a slow death of non-drinkable water, lack of food, lack of medicine while you keep others eager to help from reaching us since they face the impediment of the Jones Act,” wrote Cruz.

Others chimed in to underline how dire the situation in Puerto Rico continues to be.

Governor Ricardo Rossello spoke out against losing support on the island.

As did other politicians, like California Congresswoman Nanette D. Barragán.

Congressman Don Beyer made sure to support staying in Puerto Rico, as well as reminding everyone that the US Virgin Islands are still suffering, too.

FEMA’s deputy director of public affairs Eileen Lainez posted this message to Twitter in response to Trump.

“FEMA will be w/Puerto Rico, USVI, every state, territory impacted by a disaster every day, supporting throughout their response & recovery,” posted Lainez.

And according to the New York Times, even though Trump claims that aid won’t be there “forever,” several organizations have said otherwise.

“Other agencies were committed to long-term efforts as well. The United States Army Corps of Engineers, for example, is helping rebuild the electrical grid badly damaged by the storm, a construction effort that could take years. In addition, other agencies helping in recovery efforts, like the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection, have a permanent presence on the island and are unlikely to go anywhere.”

Hopefully Puerto Ricans aren’t waiting “forever” to get help.


[H/T] New York Times

READ: He Called Trump Out On Twitter And Is Owning Every Word He Tweeted About His Puerto Rico Response


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Kellyanne Conway Appeared on Fox & Friends And Made a Cringe-worthy Impeachment Joke

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Kellyanne Conway Appeared on Fox & Friends And Made a Cringe-worthy Impeachment Joke

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Kellyanne Conway is as famous for being a counselor to the president as she is for her bizarre word-gymnastics. Who could forget her infamous coining of the term “alternative facts” when arguing about the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd in 2017. One thing Conway is not well-known for, however, are her jokes.

On Monday, Conway made an appearance on the popular cable news morning show Fox & Friends to discuss the impeachment hearings that President Trump is embroiled in. Conway, being who she is, arrived on the program with a veritable vault of sound bites ready to be dispensed at the right opportunity. One of these unfortunate soundbites was a hybrid Christmas/impeachment joke that was lame enough to make the dorkiest of dads cringe.

“For all the incredible buying power in this Trump economy, you know what Americans are not buying this holiday season? Impeachment,” she quipped. 

The joke was in response to a question a Fox & Friends co-host posed about whether it was a “tough decision” for Trump’s lawyers to refuse to participate in the impeachment hearings. After insisting that it was “not a tough decision”, Conway launched into a lengthy diatribe, denouncing Trump’s impeachment as “an unconstitutional, illegitimate engagement”. 

Usually a receptive audience, even the Fox & Friends anchors didn’t seem to be impressed with her attempt at word-play. But Conway didn’t stop there. She continued her amateur stand-up routine by likening the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler to Inspector Clouseau (the star of “The Pink Panther” franchise).

“If [Nadler] knew what the charges were…we would already know what were in the articles of impeachment,” she told the morning show. “Why is he playing a game of Inspector Clouseau secret squirrel?” 

And as if that weren’t enough, Conway continued her tirade against the House Judiciary committee, virtually filibustering on the illegitimacy of the impeachment. Conway claimed that Democrats were making Trump “a victim to lots of Americans” who just want to “get on with the business of the country”. Conway posited that if Democrats were so convinced of Trump’s guilt, then “why in the world do [they] spend fifteen hours on Saturday and Sunday trying to figure out what the strategy is for today?”.

Conway, never one to back down from some screen-time, continued on her tirade even when a co-host tried to cut off her rambling speech. “Were [the Democrats] at soup kitchens?” she asked, becoming visibly more unhinged as she continued to speak. “Were they at districts putting wreaths on veteran’s graves? Were they there telling seniors how they’re going to lower their prescriptions drugs? Were they there covering the pot holes? Getting the 5G broadband to kids who don’t have it in rural America? No! They were huddled here in the nation’s capital on your dime wasting your time on more impeachment…”

For all the jokes Conway made at the expense of Democrats, if there’s one person who’s not laughing this week, it’s President Trump.

According to Trump’s lawyers, they are refusing to participate in the impeachment proceedings due to the lack of “any semblance of a fair process” by the House Judiciary Committee. As a refresher, The House Judiciary Committee  decided to move forward with impeaching President Trump after releasing a 300-page report detailing the relationship between Trump and Ukraine. This makes Trump the third president in the history of the United States to be impeached.

As for what many people on Twitter weren’t “buying”, it was Conway’s misrepresentation of the facts.

Conway always has  a way of spinning reality, but nonetheless, it’s still irksome to hear her spouting “alternative facts” on national television.

This person didn’t seem to agree on Conway’s assertion that Americans don’t agree with Trump’s impeachment:

Her claim that Democrats are making Trump a “victim” in the eyes of the American people is dubious, at best. 

This person took issue with Conway calling the impeachment “illegitimate”.

 https://twitter.com/Slartyb63689892/status/1204281120679854081?s=20

It’s not easy to impeach a president. Considering the many scandals that Trump has been involved with since taking office (and before as well), many people would consider the impeachment is a long-time-coming.

This person was skeptical of Conway’s polling data, when there is public evidence suggesting the contrary. 

According to aggregate polling site fivethirtyeight.com, 47.4% Americans support Trump’s impeachment while 45.6% oppose it.

This person coined a new term:

Although we’ve never heard the phrase “Impeachmas” before, we agree that it has quite a nice ring to it.

House Democrats Are Demanding Answers About Why The Government Is Withholding Aid For Puerto Rico

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House Democrats Are Demanding Answers About Why The Government Is Withholding Aid For Puerto Rico

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The recovery process in Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria has been exponentially slowed down by a lack of adequate help from the Trump administration. If there was any more proof of that, it came last week as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Department held up $18 billion in aid that was designated for disaster relief in Puerto Rico.

The mandated deadline for those funds came back on Oct. 4 but no money was ever released. Ninety days later, Democratic lawmakers are looking for answers as to why Puerto Rico has been left in the dark here as recovery efforts continue more than two years after Maria hit the island. Even though HUD employees have testified that they know withholding this aid is illegal, they are continuing to withhold it. 

Recovery aid is needed in Puerto Rico now more than ever but as of now, it’s being withheld due to the Trump administration’s fears that it will be put in corrupt hands. 

Back in September, Congress had asked the agency to publish funding notices to 18 disaster-stricken states and territories. Seventeen were published with Puerto Rico being the lone exception. The funding notice was supposed to be $10.2 billion in aid to help build much-needed infrastructure reinforcement in anticipation of future storms.  

“This is not meant to be a suggestion, it’s mandated,” Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. David Price, D-N.C. told NBC News. “It’s time to release this notice and the longer this goes on, the more one has to wonder about the political influences that might be taking place at the top.”

In total, the agency is holding up $18.5 billion, the largest single amount of disaster aid awarded in the agency’s history. The reasoning behind the delay stems from fears that the money could be in corrupt hands, something that the agency’s secretary Ben Carson and President Trump have previously said

 According to NBC News, Price said the “Trump administration is exaggerating the corruption allegations since the Office of Inspector General didn’t find widespread corruption within Puerto Rico’s housing agency, which would be managing the federal housing aid at stake.”

In a statement to Newsweek, an unnamed HUD spokesperson reiterated Carson and Trump’s belief in the withheld funds being misused. The statement also notes that Puerto Rico has only used a fraction of the already allocated funds available to it already.  

“The Administration has taken historic action to help the people of Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria. Given the Puerto Rican government’s history of financial mismanagement, corruption, and other abuses; we must ensure that any HUD assistance provided helps those on the island who need it the most. This process must be handled in a prudent manner with strong financial controls to mitigate the risk to Federal taxpayers. In addition, it is worth noting that Puerto Rico already has access to $1.5 billion and has so far only spent $5.8 million—less than one percent of those funds.”

Now Congress has a problem on its hands that has many Democrats calling for answers about when this disaster aid will be released, if ever.  

One of the members of Congress leading the charge is chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-Texas who told reporters last week that “the Trump administration knowingly broke the law by failing to comply with the deadline to issue a federal notice for over $10 billion in aid to Puerto Rico.”

According to John Hudak, a senior fellow of governance studies at the Brookings Institution told NBC News these types of congressional deadlines do at times get missed but there is also a level of transparency from agencies.  

“When these conversations do not happen, it means that something else is going on and it raises concerns that something improper might be happening,” Hudak said. “Instead, they silently missed the deadline.”

Hudak said that there are a few options that Congress can take to make HUD begin dispersing the disaster aid. The first option being halting the funding that the agency uses every day to operate but there is resistance from some Democrats in going that far right now. There is also the possibility that Congress and the Puerto Rican government could take legal action and sue the agency for basically not doing its job. 

Over 850 organizations as of Saturday had joined members of Congress in calling out the agency for not complying with the law. Many of them have stressed the importance of the aid and how critical that it gets released in a timely manner.

There is increased urgency coming from over 850 various organizations that have joined together with members of Congress in denouncing HUD for its actions. At stake is Puerto Rico, which still has ways to go in terms of full recovery from Hurricane Maria.

“It is outrageous that Secretary Carson continues to withhold critical mitigation funding for Puerto Rico approved by Congress nearly two years ago,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of National Low Income Housing Coalition, one of the 850 organizations that have denounced HUD. “Secretary Carson’s decision to ignore Congress and refuse to release these funds makes it nearly impossible for Puerto Ricans to prepare for future disasters. Congress must hold him accountable – every day of inaction puts American lives at risk.”

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