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As Mayor of San Juan Sends an SOS to the President on ‘Maddow’ Trump Is Feverishly Tweeting

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On the Crisis in Puerto Rico a ‘Sense of Urgency Didn’t Begin to Penetrate the White House Until Monday’

Every hour that goes by reveals, more and more, the dire emergency the people of Puerto Rico are experiencing, and just how poorly the Trump administration has and is handling this humanitarian crisis. As President Donald Trump one week ago Friday was attacking NFL quarterback Colin Kapernick at a campaign rally for Alabama’s Luther Strange, who would go on to lose to “Judge” Roy Moore, the U.S. territory was just regaining contact with the mainland U.S. after Hurricane Maria, the second massive storm to attack the island.

Trump would continue his attack on NFL players silently protesting police killings of often unarmed Black people for seven days, on Twitter and to the press, while the crisis in Puerto Rico was getting worse, not better.

In fact, just hours ago, The Washington Post reported that Trump spent last weekend at his golf club which “hurt the response to Maria.”

Even though local officials had said publicly as early as Sept. 20, the day of the storm, that the island was “destroyed,” the sense of urgency didn’t begin to penetrate the White House until Monday, when images of the utter destruction and desperation — and criticism of the administration’s response — began to appear on television, one senior administration official said.

Reports show the Trump administration had been repeatedly warned many times in the week before Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico that this was a storm of historic proportions, yet they did little to nothing as the president focused on tweeting his demands the NFL fire players who, as he said, were disrespecting America.

One way to respect America, of course, is to protect its people. In fact, President Trump wrongly has stated many times that his number one job and responsibility is to protect the American people.

(For the record, the oath of office states the President’s job is to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” which he also has not done.)

The mayor of San Juan has spent the past few days literally begging the federal government for help. Friday afternoon she gave up trying to be “politically correct,” as she said, and told the federal government at a press conference, “We are dying and you are killing us with the inefficiency.”

That mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz, appeared on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” hours later, explaining in greater detail her anger and frustration. She said FEMA is asking the victims of Hurricane Maria to register online before they receive supplies, like food, water, and medicines. There is essentially no electricity in Puerto Rico, and therefore no internet. 

But literally at the same time as Mayor Yulín Cruz was desperately communicating the absolute disaster she and her fellow mayors and their people are facing, what was the president doing?

Tweeting.

In a barrage of retweets of posts tweeted first by his social media director, President Trump – as the mayor of San Juan was trying to get help via her interview with Rachel Maddow, to keep her people and the 3.5 million people on Puerto Rico alive – posted seven tweets.

The first was video of Kellyanne Conway telling Fox News how great the president’s tax plan is. Then, not one but two tweets literally advertising his son Eric’s appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity,” the Sean Hannity show that just moved to 9 PM. 

The fourth retweet was a video clip of Trump’s weekend address, talking about Puerto Rico. Falsely, Trump’s 58 second message ends with him saying, “It’s getting better on a daily basis.”

Not according to Mayor Yulín Cruz, who told Rachel Maddow it’s getting worse, not better.

Trump’s fifth retweet was an article from the far right wing website Washington Free Beacon, about manufacturer optimism. His sixth retweet was, again, of a Fox News story, this time touting the stock market records broken under Trump. And the seventh and so far last retweet was video of a Navy hospital ship’s captain – still in Virginia, ten days after Hurricane Maria – talking about what they will do once they get to Puerto Rico. Why they had time to talk to reporters, why they weren’t in Puerto Rico a week ago is anyone’s guess, but you can be darn sure one of the reasons they weren’t is because the Commander-in-Chief was on a seven-day racist rant about football players who understand that we show our respect for our flag by protecting and respecting our people.

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News

GOP Senators Orchestrate ‘Blockade’ of Key Biden Agenda Bills: Voting Rights Bill Killed, Infrastructure in Doubt

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Republicans Tuesday evening killed debate on the For the People Act, a key component of Democrats’ agenda to protect democracy, expand and strengthen voting rights, and reduce the influence of dark money in elections. As Senators were voting on the motion to begin debate on the bill, news broke that the GOP Whip, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota had announced another critical piece of Democratic legislation, the infrastructure bill, was even further in doubt.

GOP Senators appeared to be orchestrating a complete and total shutdown of key legislation critical to President Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.

Democratic Majority Leader Schumer immediately denounced Republicans’ “blockade.”

Sen. Thune also said Republicans would oppose a slimmed down version of a voting rights bill:

60 votes were required to begin debate on the voting rights bill. The motion failed in a 50-50  vote. As voting was taking place GOP Minority Leader Mitch mcConnell could be seen huddling with other top Republican Senators including John Cornyn of Texas and John Kennedy of Louisiana.

The only option to pass the bill now would be for a simple majority of Senators agree to kill the 60-vote filibuster. Some are supporting a modification to 55 votes. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona had steadfastly refused to support killing the filibuster.

“This is a dark day in this country,” Al Sharpton said on MSNBC.

“This is a dark day for Republicans,” host Nicolle Wallace replied. “Republicans won’t just walk over norms, they will burn them down,” she told host Ari Melber during the handoff.

Voting rights expert Ari Berman weighed in, chastising the GOP:

 

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CRIME

‘Are You Sitting Down?’: Biden DOJ May Defend Trump in 1/6 Lawsuits – Columnist Suing Him Who Says He Raped Her Furious

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The Biden Dept. of Justice may defend Donald Trump, the former president, for remarks he made inciting the January 6 insurrection. Columnist E. Jean Carroll, who says Trump sexually assaulted her and is suing him for defamation, is furious.

ARE YOU SITTING DOWN?” asked Carroll, who famously posed for the cover of New York Magazine in the dress she was wearing in Bergdorf-Goodman the day she says Trump, in the 1990’s, raped her in a dressing room.  She is also seeking his DNA, which she says remains on the dress, to prove he raped her

“The DOJ–using the same rational they used to defend Trump in my case–may defend Trump in the Capitol Insurrection suit brought by the illustrious Representative @RepSwalwell,” she tweeted.

Many were furious when then-Attorney General Bill Barr stepped in to have the DOJ take over the case, especially since the federal government cannot be sued for defamation. The case theoretically could have then been dismissed.

But it lives on, and the Biden DOJ, under the direction of Attorney General Merrick Garland, has now taken to defend the former president in Carroll’s defamation case.

On Tuesday Reuters reported the Biden DOJ may defend Trump in lawsuits alleging he incited a violent coup and deadly insurrection.

“The Biden administration paved the way for that possibility, say constitutional scholars and lawyers in the cases, by arguing in an unrelated defamation case against Trump that presidents enjoy sweeping immunity for their comments while in office – and the right to a defense by government lawyers,” Reuters reports.

The decision to defend the former president “has profound implications for several ongoing lawsuits, including one filed by two U.S. Capitol Police officers seeking to hold Trump liable for injuries they suffered defending the building in the Jan. 6 attack.”

But noted constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe calls the DOJ’s decision to defend the former president a legal blunder of “Titanic” proportions.

“It would be very difficult for the Justice Department to change course now,” Tribe, a Harvard University constitutional law professor and a frequent critic of Trump. “The Titanic is aimed at the iceberg.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘For Sure’: Mike Lindell Promises Right-Wing Activists ‘Donald Trump Will Be in Office by This Fall’

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Thousands of right-wing activists gathered in Tampa, Florida, last weekend for a “Restore America” rally that featured a cavalcade of election, COVID-19, and QAnon conspiracy theorists as speakers.

Held at The River Church, which is pastored by right-wing conspiracy theorist Rodney Howard-Browne, the speakers included the likes of Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Jackson Lahmeyer, Ann Vandersteel, KrisAnne Hall, Greg Locke, and dozens more.

Among the most prominent speakers was MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has worked relentlessly (and fruitlessly) to prove that the 2020 presidential election was rife with fraud and foreign interference in an effort to overturn the election results so former President Donald Trump can return to the White House.

Despite releasing multipledocumentaries” purporting to prove fraud and filing multiple lawsuits, Lindell’s efforts have all be for naught, but he has not given up, telling the massive crowd gathered for the rally that he will soon be hosting a “cyber symposium” where he claims that “cyber guys” will prove that the election was stolen via something he calls “packet capture.” That, he declared, will ultimately force the Supreme Court to overturn the election results and put Trump back in office by the fall.

Lindell said that none of his efforts have been successful so far “because we’ve been living in the twilight zone,” complaining that “every time you have something real, they’re going, ‘We don’t we’re not gonna look at it,’ or the judges go, ‘We’re not gonna look at it.’”

“But you see, that’s all changing,” Lindell promised. “What I’m going to do to get this to the world, it’s called a cyber symposium. And what it is, is I’m going to have a venue at the end of July—it’s your job, everybody, to get the word out to the world—we’re going to get every cyber guy that has credentials—they’re called CISSP credentials—they’re going to be there.”

“We’re bringing in all the cyber guys,” he continued. “They’re gonna be there. Then we’re bringing all the media. Maybe even Fox will show up! What a concept. And then we’re going to bring in all senators, governors—even the corrupt ones, Brian Kemp—and legislatures, secretary of states, and every single government official that wants to be there, because when we show them these packet captures, we’re gonna just give them out to all them cyber guys so they can have their own guy go, ‘How many votes were flipped here in Tampa?’ Here you go. Boom. It’s going to be a worldwide event. Millions are going to see it, and those Supreme Court justices are going to look at it then, and they’re going to go 9-0 that this country was attacked. The election is gonna come down. Donald Trump will be in office by this fall, for sure.”

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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