Blaming the Victim, Talking to N. Korea

Blame the Victim: After an opening shot first thing in the morning, President Trump yesterday pressed his attack against the news media, the mayor of San Juan, and basically all of Puerto Rico in an effort to defend the stumbling federal emergency response to the post-hurricane crisis on the island.

In a Twitter burst from his New Jersey golf resort, Trump said, “Fake News CNN and NBC are going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders as a way to ‘get Trump.’ Not fair to FR or effort!” he went on, “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.”

The comment about “They want everything to be done for them,” hit a racial nerve. It’s a long-used code for white people complaining about non-white people.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said in a public address, “If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying and you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy.”

Puerto Rico’s economy is at a standstill, and what activity there is, is cash only. Without power, banks and teller machines are closed. People with money in the bank can’t get it. Puerto Rico was struggling with 10 percent unemployment before the storm hit. Now, people can’t get to work, or don’t have work to go to anymore.

From the White House press pool yesterday: “Per White House, we have a travel/photo lid. Your pooler has not seen POTUS today.”

The Fog Machine: Writing in The NY Times, contributor Timothy Egan says Trump’s outrageous statements are always a cover for his incompetence and failures.

“Those details will soon be lost in the Trump Fog Machine,” Egan writes. “He will say something awful, do something horrible, insult some vulnerable person. We will be shocked just long enough to forget what happened yesterday.”

Trump might get away with his administration’s failures in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are US citizens as residents of a US territory, but they have no representation in Congress and can’t vote in presidential elections.

Meet the Hermits: In what would be the lead story under a normal administration, Secy. of State Rex Tillerson revealed yesterday that the US is in direct contact with North Korea over its missile and nuclear bomb tests.

“We’re not in a dark situation, a blackout,” Tillerson told reporters travelling with him in China. “We have a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang. We can talk to them, we do talk to them.”

He said it is important to calm things down and “Stay tuned.”

Free Man: Former football great OJ Simpson, 70, was released from a Nevada prison shortly after midnight. Prison officials said they did not know who picked him up or where he was headed. As of Friday, neither California nor Florida had received the proper request for Simpson to move to either state.

Simpson, who was acquitted in the 1995 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, did nine years in Nevada for an armed robbery attempting to recover football memorabilia.

Vertical Limit: The wife of a Welsh climber killed Wednesday by a rockfall in Yosemite National Park tells reporters that her husband covered her with his body and saved her life. Lucy Foster, 28, said her husband Andrew “dived on top of me as soon as he could see what was going to happen. He saved my life.”

The couple ran a blog about their climbing adventures. They were in Yosemite to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary.

World: Thousands of people marched in Dublin yesterday calling for an end to Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion. The March for Choice has been an annual event, but this year the government says it will hold a referendum next year on whether to do away with the law. — Residents of Catalonia in Spain went to the polls today to vote on a government-banned independence referendum. Spanish national forces tried to stop the voting. Catalonia is on the northeast coast and includes Barcelona.

The Obit Page: Monty Hall, the former host and creator of the daytime game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” has died in Beverly Hills at age 96. Hall did the show for 40 years.

Contestants were asked to choose between “Door No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3?” and the expression entered the American language as a reference to making a choice.

Loser: President Trump tweeted yesterday that, “In analyzing the Alabama Primary race,FAKE NEWS always fails to mention that the candidate I endorsed went up MANY points after endorsement!”

Hmm. Did he mention his candidate LOST?

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

"The greatest absurdity of our time is You Know Whom, which goes without saying but I will anyway. What his election showed is that a considerable number of people, in order to demonstrate their frustration with the world as it is, are willing to drive their car, with their children in the back seat, over a cliff, smash the radiator, bust an axle and walk away feeling good about themselves. No other president in modern times has been held in contempt by a preponderance of people from the moment he said, 'So help me, God.'"

-Garrison Keillor on President Trump

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