Floods Still Rising, Make Our Boy President

Biblical: The storm that brought catastrophic flooding to Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast still threatens to dump as much as 20 more inches of rain on areas where roads are already under several feet of water and homes are waist deep. Dickinson, Texas, with a population of 20,000 is under a mandatory evacuation order.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said it’s “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced,” warning that recovery will take years. “We need to recognize it will be a new normal, a new and different normal for this entire region,” Abbott said.

Ten people have been confirmed dead in the storm. Local news reports say six members of a family including children ages 6 to 16, and their great-grandparents, drowned while travelling in a van on Sunday.

Thousands have been rescued from their homes, many of them plucked from rooftops by helicopter, and about 30,000 people have taken refuge in public shelters. There’s no count of the number who went to be with friends and relatives. About 450,000 people are expected to apply for federal assistance.

For now, the focus is on feeding and housing the refugees. Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said they are shipping two million liters of water and two million meals to the stricken area.

An interesting political note: more than 20 Texas members of Congress voted against aid to the East Coast after the 2012 Hurricane Sandy. Now there’s an estimated $40 billion damage to Texas. The New York Daily News said, “The devastation of Hurricane Harvey has two-faced Texas politicians looking for the same sort of relief funding they flatly opposed five years ago.”

The Russia House: The NY Times reports that in 2015 an associate of Donald Trump tried to engineer a real estate deal in Moscow that he promised would help Trump get elected president. “Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Russian immigrant Felix Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”

The Times reports that, “The emails show that, from the earliest months of Mr. Trump’s campaign, some of his associates viewed close ties with Moscow as a political advantage. Those ties are now under investigation by the Justice Department and multiple congressional committees.”

Kimchi Krisis: In a major act of international provocation, North Korea fired a missile that flew 1700 miles over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and landed in the sea. Japan warned its citizens in the missile’s path to take cover.

World: A male nurse convicted of killing patients in Germany with medical overdoses is now suspected in the deaths of at least 84 patients. Niels Hoegel, 40, was convicted in 2015 of two murders and two attempted murders at a hospital in the northwestern town of Delmenhorst.

Investigators then started exhuming bodies and found many more victims. They say they won’t ever know the full number because some of the dead were cremated. Police Chief Johann Kuehme said, “Eighty-four killings … leave us speechless.”

Lock and Load: Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced yesterday that the Trump Administration will restore the flow of surplus military equipment to local police departments.

Under the Obama administration, the defense department was giving the cops helicopters, armored vehicles, and guns. They were ordered to stop after protesters in Ferguson, Mo. faced the local police armed for war. Sessions told a gathering of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville the Trump administration will not put “superficial concerns” over public safety.

Half Paycheck: Amazon took over Whole Foods yesterday and immediately slashed prices as promised. Bloomberg News reported, “At the store on East 57th Street in Manhattan, organic fuji apples were marked down to $1.99 a pound from $3.49 a pound; organic avocados went to $1.99 each from $2.79; organic rotisserie chicken fell to $9.99 each from $13.99, and the price of some bananas was slashed to 49 cents per pound from 79 cents.”

The Princess Royal: Sarah Ellison writes for Vanity Fair that Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, despite their access to the President, are proving to be irrelevant. “Increasingly you hear chatter in Washington that Jared and Ivanka won’t last,” Ellison writes, “not because they are at risk of being pushed out, but because they will save themselves from a damaged White House.”

Moderates and liberals had hoped the couple could have influence on issues like Planned Parenthood and pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, to no avail. Ellison says, “But if her main value in Washington is her access to her father and she is unable to sway him, then she is simply a 35-year-old former real-estate and retail executive in over her head.”

Ellison writes that Jared and Ivanka share the “combination of self-assurance and utter ignorance” that is the defining trait of this White House. She quotes a “Washington veteran” saying, “What is off-putting about them is they do not grasp their essential irrelevance. They think they are special.”


Sunday, February 18, 2018

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 enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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