President Donald Trump tweeted late into the night Monday and sprung back early Tuesday continuing his rage-filled Twitter storm attacking the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Those tweets came barely more than two days after Trump announced he is killing all U.S. foreign aid to three Central American countries. It’s almost like the President just doesn’t like brown people.
The island commonwealth of Puerto Rico is home to 3.2 million people, and was devastated by hurricanes in 2017 – thanks in large part to the lack of action by the Trump administration. They are still in desperate need of help.
But Trump has privately told aides he wants to “claw back” – rescind – federal funds already granted to the island.
The President is now gaslighting the American people, repeatedly pushing a lie (see below) that “Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane.”
Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane, more money than has ever been gotten for a hurricane before, & all their local politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2019
That was just one of five tweets Trump posted between 10:50 PM Monday and 7:45 AM Tuesday. And it’s false (more on that below) not to mention, racist.
“Puerto Rico got far more money than Texas & Florida combined,” he also claimed, again falsely.
“91 Billion Dollars to Puerto Rico, and now the Dems want to give them more, taking dollars away from our Farmers and so many others. Disgraceful!” Trump cried on Twitter, in yet another false twist. The only one who’s taking money away from farmers is Trump, thanks to his ill-conceived trade war.
At 11:11 PM Monday President Trump attacked Puerto Rico, calling its elected officials “incompetent or corrupt.” At 11:38 PM he labeled Carmen Yulín Cruz, the Mayor of San Juan, “crazed and incompetent.”
At 7:33 in the morning, in typically racist form, Trump cried that all that Puerto Rico’s “local politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA.”
It’s that “& only take from USA” that really makes it racist.
Someone should remind the President that Puerto Rico is part of the USA. Imagine the outrage if Trump singled out Mississippi – one of the states most dependent on federal government funds – and tweeted, “all that Mississippi’s local politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA.”
At 7:45 AM Tuesday morning, Trump actually tweeted: “The best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico is President Donald J. Trump. So many wonderful people, but with such bad Island leadership and with so much money wasted. Cannot continue to hurt our Farmers and States with these massive payments, and so little appreciation!”
He’s all but asking for the people of Puerto Rico, the same people he threw paper towels at, to kneel before and praise him.
So let’s examine Trump’s false claim that “Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane.”
“The $91 billion question: Trump rages against a phantom dollar figure of aid to Puerto Rico.” (NY Daily News)
“Study: Puerto Rico received slower, less “generous” federal disaster aid than Texas, Florida.” (CBS News)
If you really want to get at where Trump is getting that fake $91 billion figure, let’s first make clear he’s gaslighting. Reading his tweets and prior statements you’d think the Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin landed a planeload with $91 billion in cold hard cash in San Juan.
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker reveals only $11.2 billion has been spent on Puerto Rico. Not $91 billion.
On March 28 Trump told reporters, “We have $91 billion going to Puerto Rico. We have $29 billion to Texas and $12 billion to Florida for the hurricanes.”
The $91 billion is probably the sum total of what the federal government over the course of several decades might spend on Puerto Rico. And it appears he may be confusing what it would actually cost to fix Puerto Rico with what the federal government ultimately will spend.
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Sinema ‘Weighing’ Senate Speech Against Changing Filibuster for Voting Rights as Biden Visits Hill to Meet With Dems
President Joe Biden Thursday afternoon will make a rare trip to Capitol Hill, where he will attend a regular Democratic luncheon with the singular purpose of shaking hands and twisting arms, hoping to convince the lawmakers to pass his voting rights legislation: the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Conspicuous in her absence likely will be U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema who may be on the Senate floor when the President of the United States comes to meet with members of her own party.
The Arizona Democrat is “weighing” delivering a speech “against changing the rules for voting rights, per two Senate sources,” Politico’s Tara Palmieri reports.
One of those sources, Palmieri adds, says “Sinema is having Joe Biden for lunch.”
President Biden served as a U.S. Senator for 36 years before being elected Vice President, and subsequently President. Sinema served six years in the House and is a freshman Senator, first elected in 2018.
Sen. Sinema’s top donors, according to Open Secrets include a Texas-based tax software firm, a private equity firm, and Goldman Sachs, the multi-national investment giant.
‘Hideous Coward’: Critics Blast ‘Disgusting Fraud’ Lindsey Graham for Accusing Biden of Politicizing the Insurrection
After President Joe Biden delivered what some are calling his best speech ever, commemorating the one-year anniversary of Trump supporters’ attack on the U.S. Capitol – an insurrection and attempted coup – Senator Lindsey Graham served up a horrific attack on the American President, and is being highly criticized for it.
“What brazen politicization of January 6 by President Biden,” Sen. Graham tweeted. “I wonder if the Taliban who now rule Afghanistan with al-Qaeda elements present, contrary to President Biden’s beliefs, are allowing this speech to be carried?”
Tom Nichols, a U.S. Naval War College professor and expert with a lengthy résumé on Russia, national security, and nuclear weapons, slammed the Republican from South Carolina as a “hideous coward.”
Amy Siskind, whose work documenting the fascism of the Trump presidency gained national attention, likewise labeled Graham as an “unpatriotic coward.”
“Trying to prevent the certification of the election was done by ONE side and it wasn’t the left,” The Atlantic’s Molly Jong-Fast replied to Graham. “Also Watching Republicans turn against democracy instead of disavowing trumpism is pretty depressing.”
Political commentator Keith Olbermann minced no words: “So your party’s attempt to overthrow democracy was a non-partisan event? Once you were a Senator, grudgingly respected by your opponents. Now you are a Trump Whore. Flee the country.”
Slate’s Will Saletan:
It’s tragic that the Afghan government collapsed and that we had to abandon so many Afghans, after Biden withdrew in compliance with the deal Trump signed.
It’s even more dismaying that an American senator cares more about Afghanistan than about an attack on the United States.
— Will Saletan (@saletan) January 6, 2022
“Yes, the Taliban loves broadcasting speeches by American presidents, that’s a terrific point,” wrote historian Kevin Kruse, mocking Graham, who’s supposedly an expert on foreign affairs.
Some other responses:
So you are outraged over politicization and then go and do the same thing all in one tweet. Disgusting fraud.
— Tim Hannan (@TimHannan) January 6, 2022
I’m pretty sure Jan. 6th was politicized the moment your political base attempted to siege the Capitol with an intent to kill the Vice President.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) January 6, 2022
“Trump and I, we’ve had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh my God, I hate it. From my point of view, he’s been a consequential president, but today, first thing you’ll see. All I can say is a count me out. Enough is enough.” Lindsey Graham Speech January 6, 2021
— Outspoken (@Out5p0ken) January 6, 2022
Garland Speech Satisfies Some, Disappoints Others Who Say It Focused on Violence and Not Those Behind the Insurrection
Attorney General Merrick Garland finally delivered a speech on the January 6 insurrection, 364 days after the attack on American democracy. Some experts appeared to be satisfied, but many more casual observers and critics continue to be frustrated at his focus on prioritizing investigating and indicting those who perpetrated violence that day while continuing to, apparently, ignore those responsible for inciting the insurrection and creating and disseminating “the big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen.
One popular social media commentator seemed to sum up the feelings of many watching and responding via social media, calling Garland’s remarks “a July 2021 speech not a ‘One Year After a Coup Attempt’ speech.”
Merrick Garland is delivering the speech he should have given six months ago.
This is a July 2021 speech not a “One Year After a Coup Attempt” speech.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) January 5, 2022
“The Justice Dept. remains committed to holding all January 6 perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law — whether they were present that day or otherwise criminally responsible,” Garland said in his speech (full video via C-SPAN), addressing DOJ employees. “There are questions about how long the investigation will take, and about what exactly we are doing. Our answer is — whatever it takes for justice to be done.”
But critics point out that Garland’s speech was largely focused on “statistics,” including how many arrests have been made. None of those arrests include Trump administration officials, or those who were behind the attack on American democracy.
“So, one thing you should notice about Garland’s framing of Jan 6 is that he *starts* at storming of the Capitol, *not* at the rally before,” wrote The Nation’s Justice Correspondent Elie Mystal, as Garland was speaking. “This goes to his general way of framing this as individual bad actors instead of a wider criminal conspiracy.”
MSNBC legal analyst and former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance responded to Mystal, saying: “This is a fair criticism. One of the things I’m looking for in this speech is whether he will suggest that Jan 6 was the culmination of an effort to overturn the election, or whether he views the events that took place at the Capitol in a vacuum.”
Vance appeared less concerned, adding:
Garland: “We will follow the facts wherever they lead.”
He says this with emphasis. It’s a commitment. He says he’ll take as long as it takes to do it right. “We will & we must speak through our work.”
This is prosecutor speak for, game on.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) January 5, 2022
Well-known, retired FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, now an NBC News National Security Contributor appeared more hopeful:
AG references “Watergate”. “Same norms for the powerful or the powerless”. DOJ will pursue those “whether present that day or not”. Get it? Merrick Garland pledges pursuit of Jan 6 suspects at ‘any level’ https://t.co/5zn3m5Lnyp
— Frank Figliuzzi (@FrankFigliuzzi1) January 5, 2022
And the highly-respected President and Director-Counsel of NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), Sherrilyn Ifill, also seemed satisfied:
Critical points I heard frm the Garland speech:
1) DOJ is prosecuting the full web of participants involved in Jan 6 & following all leads.
2)No one is off the table for prosecution if they were involved.
3) elaborate prosecutions of this sort take time & begin at the bottom /
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) January 5, 2022
So was Daniel Goldman, the former Lead Counsel of the House Impeachment Inquiry,a nd a former Asst. U.S. Attorney at SDNY:
Strong, emphatic, and determined speech by Garland. The key quote is when he referred to perpetrators who may not have been at the Capitol on Jan 6. But open question remains whether investig has or will extend to efforts to overturn the election, separate from Jan 6 culpability.
— Daniel Goldman (@danielsgoldman) January 5, 2022
The Guardian’s congressional reporter Hugo Lowell observes Garland “effectively left open the possibility of a criminal investigation into the Trump WH over the Capitol attack, vowing to hold accountable the perpetrators — at any level — of the Jan. 6 insurrection.”
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