On the Crisis in Puerto Rico a ‘Sense of Urgency Didnâ€™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,Â 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 â€œdestroyed,â€ the sense of urgency didnâ€™t begin to penetrate the White House until Monday, when images of the utter destruction and desperation â€” and criticism of the administrationâ€™s response â€” 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.
Starting 4 days prior to landfall NHC wrote 17 full Hurricane MarÃa advisories. Every single one called for landfall in Puerto Rico. 16 of those forecasts called for MarÃa to hit as a major hurricane. Remarkable work by NHC. Impact should’ve been no surprise to anyone, *anywhere* pic.twitter.com/mcdnxMREmT
â€” John Morales (@JohnMoralesNBC6) September 29, 2017
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.
As your President, I have no higher duty than to protect the lives of the American people. pic.twitter.com/o7YNUNwb8f
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2017
(For the record, the oath of office states theÂ 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,Â “WeÂ are dying and you are killing us with the inefficiency.”
That mayor,Â Carmen YulÃn Cruz, appeared on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” hours later, explaining in greater detail her anger and frustration. She said FEMA isÂ asking the victims of Hurricane Maria to register online before they receive supplies, like food, water, and medicines. There is essentially noÂ electricity in Puerto Rico, and therefore no internet.Â
Residents asked to register via internet for FEMA assistance, says San Juan mayor. https://t.co/jv4MlLC6rE
â€” NBC News (@NBCNews) September 30, 2017
But literally at the same time as MayorÂ YulÃn Cruz was desperately communicating the absolute disaster she and her fellow mayors and theirÂ people are facing, what was the president doing?
In a barrage of retweets of posts tweeted first by his social media director, President TrumpÂ â€“ 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 aliveÂ â€“ posted seven tweets.
The first was video of Kellyanne Conway telling Fox News how great the president’sÂ 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.Â
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 MayorÂ YulÃn 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 â€“Â still in Virginia, ten days after Hurricane Maria â€“Â 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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GOP Senator’s Hyped Report on Biden and Ukraine Is a Dud With ‘Minimal, if Any, Evidence’: Reporter
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has been hyping up a report that purportedly implicates Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in corrupt activities in Ukraine.
But according to Politico’s Kyle Cheney, Johnson’s report is not going to be nearly as explosive as Republicans hoped, and he describes it as “an 87-page rehash of previously known allegations (with minimal, if any, evidence), news articles and impeachment testimony.”
In fact, the report leads off with impeachment testimony from State Department official George Kent, who said it was “awkward” to have Biden working on Ukraine-related issues while he was serving as vice president even as his son, Hunter Biden, had taken a job on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.
However, Kent also testified that Biden’s work in Ukraine was part of official American foreign policy and was not about serving his personal interests.
Additionally, Cheney reports that “ten of the interim report’s 87 pages are dedicated to countering Democratic attacks and pushing back on reporting that [Johnson was] fueling narratives that dovetailed with a Russian disinformation effort.”
Image via Shutterstock
Pence Suggests Unnamed Trump SCOTUS Nominee Should Skip Committee and Just Be Confirmed Before ‘Election Issues’ Arise
Vice President Mike Pence is in full campaign mode now, making the rounds on news channels and holding re-election rallies. On Tuesday the Indiana Republican told Fox News Business’ Lou Dobbs that perhaps President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-named Supreme Court nominee should just skip the usual Judiciary Committee hearings and get confirmed by the U.S. Senate immediately.
Pence said the nominee should get a committee hearing, but only “if needs be.”
He might have been thinking that since Chairman Lindsey Graham has already said there are enough votes to confirm, even though no one knows who the nominee is, why take up valuable time when the outcome has, for the first time in U.S. history, been preordained without even a facade of interest in vetting.
Insisting that Trump has “a duty” under “the Constitution to appoint a new justice to the Supreme Court,” Vice President Pence said, “we respect the role of the Senate to advise and consent but President Trump truly believes that the Senate should move thoroughly thoughtfully and quickly and and move to consideration a hearing, if needs be and ultimately to a floor vote because we you know we have, we have major issues in the country today.”
What are the major Supreme Court issues?
“You know, Lou with all of the talk about universal unsolicited mail and validating where we see states around the country that are now, extending the deadline,” Pence said, referring to President Trump’s lie that voting by mail will make the election “rigged.”
“There is a possibility that election issues may come before the Supreme Court in the days following the election and all the more reason why we should have nine justices on the Supreme Court to, to be able to resolve any issues that may arise then or on any other matters.”
In other words, Trump wants a justice on the nation’s top court prepared to hand him the election.
Mike Pence urges the Senate to confirm SCOTUS nominee quickly, with “a hearing if needs be,” because there may be litigation following the election pic.twitter.com/FHjqfxu8iC
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) September 22, 2020
‘Soldiers for Christ’: Trump Cabinet Bible Study Teacher Calls Elections a ‘Spiritual Battle’ That ‘Believers Will Win’
Ralph Drollinger, a Bible study teacher who uses his extraordinary access to top government officials in the United States and abroad to push right-wing policies as biblically mandated, distributed a Bible study Monday telling readers that “it is imperative that committed Christians be praying for an outcome that glorifies our Lord, and that believers will win office.”
“Don’t misinterpret the elections: they are first and foremost a spiritual battle requiring mature, spiritual weaponry,” Drollinger wrote in a Bible study distributed Monday. He also repeated his assertion that the only prayers that God hears and acts on are those of Christians.
In previous writings, Drollinger has demonstrated little respect for Christians who interpret the Bible differently than he does. He has called the “social Gospel” that motivates millions of liberal American Christians “a perversion of scripture” and “not Christianity whatsoever!” He has called Catholicism “one of the primary false religions of the world.” He urges public officials not to take part in “syncretistic” events like the National Prayer Breakfast, arguing that by participating in events that combine different forms of belief, attendees invite God’s wrath rather than his blessing.
Drollinger holds Bible study sessions for members of the House and Senate as well as Trump’s Cabinet while his written Bible studies are distributed widely and used by Capitol Ministries leaders active in state and local governments and foreign governments. Drollinger writes in this week’s Bible study that only people who are “mature in Christ” can be “ideal candidates for public office.”
Drollinger, whose Capitol Ministries is committed to evangelizing public officials and “discipling” them to his biblical worldview, writes that elections are “a critical time” for a public official who is “a soldier for Christ.” Drollinger writes that “when the believer wields the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and Satan reacts through his minions, there will exist critical times or seasons for necessary petitioning—that is, if you are a soldier for Christ.”
In “Oaks in Office,” his handbook for public officials, Drollinger wrote that “the critical and preeminent duty of the Church in an institutionally separated society” is “to evangelize and disciple—to Christianize—the leaders of the State and its citizenry.” Nevertheless, Drollinger insists that he is not a Christian nationalist because he does not believe in changing the structure of government to give the church an official role. He says he supports institutional but not influential separation of church and state.
Among Drollinger’s many fans within the Trump administration is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has used his position to open doors for Drollinger to bring his proselytizing and right-wing-policy-promoting ministry into the inner circles of government in foreign capitals.
This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
Image: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr
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