As the Carolinas prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Florence, currently a Category 4 storm, Senator Jeff Merkley appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show with a document that shows $10,000,000 was diverted from FEMA's budget to pay for ICE detention centers.
It's believed the transfer of funds took place at the beginning of summer. You know, right before the start of hurricane season. And if that's not enough to make your blood boil, this video of Trump calling his administration's handling of Puerto Rico during and after Hurricane Maria "an incredible, unsung success" should do the trick.
I'm sure Carolinians are relieved the President of the United States considers 3000 dead Americans an incredible, unsung success. No worries, Outer Banks! He'll be there to throw paper towels at you soon.
Trump admin took millions from FEMA for ICE detentions [MSNBC] Read the rest
I think we can safely say that the United States government's response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria was a rolling clusterfuck. Cronyism, red tape and terrible management practices on the part of FEMA, the National Guard and, in many cases, ill-equipped private contractors, turned what should have been a swift government controlled cleanup and restoration effort into a miserable quagmire. Many Puerto Ricans, a year after having their lives torn apart by hurricane-force winds and flooding, are still without permanent housing.
Difficult as it might be to believe, the ineptitude at every level of the government, both federal and territorial, has reached a new low. This past week, a large cache of donations--10 semi trailers full of medical supplies, diapers, food and water--that should have been handed out to Puerto Ricans in need of sustenance and other necessities, was found by an employee of Puerto Rican radio station Radio Isla. In a video taken by one of the radio station's employees, it's apparent that the supplies were left to rot.
According to Splinter, when the word got out that the rotting supplies had been found, the head of the National Guard for the region came up with an excuse for why the supplies had been left to ruin:
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The Adjutant General of Puerto Rico, Brig. Gen. Isabelo Rivera, explained today that the merchandise stored in containers at the State Election Commission facilities, related to the collection center to help the victims of Hurricane Maria, will finish with its distribution in the next few days.
Disaster capitalism depends on the idea that "There is No Alternative" and that the populace can only sit by passively while their infrastructure, government, homes and schools are hijacked and sold off to low-bidder corporations to financially engineer and then extract rent from.
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Whitefish Energy's had quite a week: last week the two-person company from Whitefish, Montana (hometown of Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke) was awarded a $300M contract to help rebuild the power-grid in Puerto Rico, with some very favorable terms including $462/hour for subcontracted supervisors, no penalties for nonperformance, and a guarantee that the government wouldn't audit its expenditures.
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Carmen Yulin Cruz is the outspoken mayor of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, who was publicly denounced by Donald Trump for pointing out the federal government's inaction during the worst humanitarian disaster in modern US history. Trump went on to characterize Puerto Ricans -- chest deep in sewage raw sewage with no fresh water, no homes, no power and no gasoline -- as "wanting everything done for them." Read the rest