Puerto Rico Thread


#41

I wish his staff would continually ply him with buckets of kfc and gravy


#42

Trump literally thinks the F35 is like wonder woman’s invisible plane.


#43

At last, the man speaks the TRUTH.

It’s Linda. Linda McMahon. Even I know that and I’m not in charge of ANYTHING.

What the actual? You can be very proud that sixteen American citizens are confirmed dead. I mean, hey, that’s way less than the 1800+ (which is apparently “thousands” to Trump) that died in Katrina. Those people were chumps. Idiots who didn’t know how to survive a hurricane and flooding. Not Puerto Ricans though, you brown people are THE SHIT! Surviving like champs up in here!

Jesus. This is the President of the United States. So proud to be an Amuricun!


#44

This is me every day now:


#45

I want to thank the reporters who are there day after day dutifully recording the inane utterances spewing from the Lying King. I wasn’t in the mood to listen to Trump talk today. Also a shout out to the folks on QT3 who find the most insane quotes and save me the trouble of looking.


#46

Food-stamp recipients are usually prohibited from buying hot foods and other items that can be eaten “in store” such as sandwiches, soup or pizza. Puerto Rico requested the administration temporarily lift the restrictions on the program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

So far, the administration has refused, even after granting similar waivers in Texas after Hurricane Harvey and in Florida after Hurricane Irma.


#47

I’m shocked…shocked I tell you! The brown folks will likely just use it for alcohol and bullets though.


#48

The FEMA Director Brock Long seems like a pretty much a straight shooter when I’ve seen him interviewed. Unlike many others in the cabinet, he actually has a background in disaster preparedness.

I wonder if the waiver is something that is decided at Presidential level or can the FEMA director request it.

It doesn’t really matter it is stupid thing to deny, unless of course you are trying to win points with the base


#49

The story has been updated. The headline is now:

Trump officials allow Puerto Ricans to use food stamps for fast food

Apparently this was just a misunderstanding, not a Paul Ryan-style attempt to make people hungry for the sake of being hungry.


#50

Trump, being an imbecile, destroys the ability for Puerto Rico to borrow money.


#51

Pretty sure he’s wondering why PR doesn’t just declare bankruptcy. It worked for him!


#52

So that’s about it, right? They’re out of money, the US gov won’t let them borrow more, and they need massive amounts of money to rebuild everything.


#53

If PR can’t borrow money to rebuild their electrical grid and other infrastructure, their only route is to privatize everything. That turns the disaster into an enormous opportunity for corporate profits, with PR’s citizens as a captive customer base.

Not at all surprising, really.


#54

#55

#56

There’s one other route, but I sincerely doubt they’d go this direction; banana republic/full-on socialization by nationalizing the local industries involved with the rebuild. I’m honestly not sure which would be worse for the people.


#57


Part of Jeremy Konyndyk’s (former US Foreign Disaster Assistance chief under Obama) tweetstorm:

“Never tweet angry” is usually good advice and I try to adhere to it. But right now, the hell with that. THIS IS APPALLING. This is such a deeply wrong, deeply inappropriate, deeply disrespectful thing to say…that I hardly know where to start. Start with this: we have no reliable idea of the actual death toll. Reporting of fatalities has broken down. Toll of 16 reflects mostly those killed in the storm or immediate aftermath; number likely to rise are info links are restored. Operative question here is how many have died during the ensuring response, when they could have been saved. We don’t yet know.

But the bigger point - EVERY fatal catastrophe is a “real catastrophe”, FFS (sorry. don’t tweet angry). The only sense in which Trump’s comment is accurate is this: the “real” catastrophe is arguably not the storm, but his response to it. The initial death toll is the one thing over which he had negligible control. The rest is on him. Choosing to ignore the response for the first 6 days because tweeting about the NFL was more important? That’s on him. Getting into fights with local authorities rather than figuring out how to best support them? That’s on him. Claiming the response was fine and dandy when most of the island was (and is) without power and water? That’s on him. Taking his eye off the ball while the federal response proved to be too slow, too small, and too late? That’s on him. Assuming an overstrapped FEMA operating without a strong State-level counterpart would be up to the task of this? That’s on him. Foot-dragging on the Jones Act waiver because US shipping interests weren’t wild about it? That’s on him.

Exhale.

Most fundamentally - failing to create a leadership culture in which this response could succeed? That is absolutely on him.

Full tweetstorm

(1/31): “Never tweet angry” is usually good advice and I try to adhere to it. But right now, the hell with that. THIS IS APPALLING. 1/ https://t.co/QENmxTjIu1
(2/31): This is such a deeply wrong, deeply inappropriate, deeply disrespectful thing to say…that I hardly know where to start. 2/
(3/31): Start with this: we have no reliable idea of the actual death toll. Reporting of fatalities has broken down. 3/ https://t.co/JVpaT75quu
(4/31): Toll of 16 reflects mostly those killed in the storm or immediate aftermath; number likely to rise are info links are restored. 4/
(5/31): Operative question here is how many have died during the ensuring response, when they could have been saved. We don’t yet know. 5/
(6/31): But the bigger point - EVERY fatal catastrophe is a “real catastrophe”, FFS (sorry. don’t tweet angry). 6/
(7/31): The only sense in which Trump’s comment is accurate is this: the “real” catastrophe is arguably not the storm, but his response to it. 7/
(8/31): The initial death toll is the one thing over which he had negligible control. The rest is on him. 8/
(9/31): Choosing to ignore the response for the first 6 days because tweeting about the NFL was more important? That’s on him. 9/
(10/31): Getting into fights with local authorities rather than figuring out how to best support them? That’s on him. 10/
(11/31): Claiming the response was fine and dandy when most of the island was (and is) without power and water? That’s on him. 11/
(12/31): Taking his eye off the ball while the federal response proved to be too slow, too small, and too late? That’s on him. 12/
(13/31): Assuming an overstrapped FEMA operating without a strong State-level counterpart would be up to the task of this? That’s on him. 13/
(14/31): Foot-dragging on the Jones Act waiver because US shipping interests weren’t wild about it? That’s on him. 14/
(15/31): Exhale.

Most fundamentally - failing to create a leadership culture in which this response could succeed? That is absolutely on him. 15/
(16/31): I don’t blame FEMA for the inadequate response. Trump has fostered an environment which makes it hard for them to do their jobs. 16/
(17/31): Crucial to good crisis mgmt:

  • Strong WH interagency process
  • Attention to evidence/data
  • Ability to challenge leadership assumptions

17/
(18/31): NONE are the case in this WH (as I wrote about back in February, when I saw something like this coming). 18/ https://t.co/7Q5gLw0Xsb
(19/31): WH-led interagency process remains haphazard and weak. Loren nicely breaks it down here. 19/ https://t.co/RgsGxLjYaH
(20/31): As I wrote in Feb, that’s fatal in a complex disaster response like this. 20/ https://t.co/5kRGfV8JLK
(21/31): Re: evidence, it was clear within 1-2 days of landfall that this was totally catastrophic. But Trump wasn’t paying attention to that. 21/
(22/31): And instead he and his team were maintaining all was swell. And that really, REALLY makes FEMA’s job hard. 22/
(23/31): One of toughest, but most important, things to do in govt is tell your boss he/she is wrong. 100x more so with Trump. 23/
(24/31): WH culture that spawns “dear leader” cabinet mtg isn’t a culture open to telling POTUS the response is off track 24/ https://t.co/8bHBBEGVGa
(25/31): So when we needed extraordinary WH leadership that could take a hard honest look at the challenge and mobilize an unorthodox response… 25/
(26/31): …we got chaotic self-congratulatory leadership where the highest priority is messaging that everything is going totally fine. 26/ https://t.co/ZyYv0jhHBU
(27/31): Now, FEMA and DOD are really competent and capable. And they can overcome this in a less complex disaster (e.g. TX and FL went ok). 27/
(28/31): But when a super complex one comes around - Katrina, Ebola, etc - that forces agencies to do something they weren’t built to do… 28/
(29/31): …Presidential leadership is the make-or-break factor. Puerto Rico is such a crisis. 29/
(30/31): And with his comments today, POTUS underscores again, definitively, that the critical failing element in this response…is him. /end
(31/31): PS - apologies for being so long winded. Don’t tweet angry.


#58

Josh Marshall on the debt stuff.

Then last night, he seemed to shift gears entirely, telling Geraldo Rivera that the government would “have to wipe that [debt] out” entirely. “You can say goodbye” to the existing debt no matter who takes a loss. He focused on “Goldman Sachs.” Was someone else talking to him? Was he just affected by what he saw? Was it all a show? Or will he just go back to his debt-punitive approach once he’s back? To this end, I was surprised to hear from TPM Reader RM that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a close associate and advisor of the President’s, was until quite recently the biggest shareholder and a board member of the company that is one of the biggest and most aggressive holders of the risk tied to Puerto Rico’s public debt.
[…]
The relevant point is that by the end of 2014, as far as I can tell, Ross’s ownership stake and governance role in AG had come to an end. That’s over two years ago, long before Donald Trump became President and a good six months before he announced his campaign.

That means that at least in connection with AG, Ross appears to have no money on the line or conflict of interest with regards to Puerto Rico.

What interests me here however is that Ross must be highly versed on the Puerto Rican debt issue. He was until relatively recently the largest single owner and a board member of a company heavily exposed to any Puerto Rican debt default. That must color his views of the matter. One would assume that he’s highly sympathetic to the debt holders’ point of view. (It’s important to note that purchasing distressed companies, debt at pennies on the dollar is Ross’s business. So he probably doesn’t need much coloring or convincing.) He’s also a major advisor to the President on just these issues. Is Ross one of the reasons Trump was talking so much about this? I’d say there’s a pretty good chance of that. Will that color Trump’s attitudes on the question as he quite likely will make a number of policy decision tied to Puerto Rico’s public debt? Again, I’d say that’s pretty likely.
[…]
If past experience is any guide, once he’s back in the White House, once he’s back talking to his hedge fund and private equity pals in late night phone conversations, he’ll come entirely back to their point of view. That’s the way everywhere policy question has played out so far.

That’s why we need to know a lot more about who’s advising Trump on the Puerto Rican debt front. What’s Wilbur Ross’s role? Who else is involved? What does Trump and his family stand to lose or gain on Puerto Rican debt? We don’t know the answers to any of these questions and we need to.


#59

Since Trump can’t be bothered, Mexico is going to step in to help.


#60

Trump now diverts all aid funding to the wall, and then claims that Mexico has now paid for it.