Here are my observations on items in the news.
AN HONEST APPRAISAL of President Trump’s response to our devastated island of Puerto Rico following a dual hurricane hit is related in a piece by Tobin Harshaw for Bloomberg News, “No, Trump Didn’t Botch the Puerto Rico Crisis,” In an interview with former Navy Captain Jerry Hendrix (Ret.), now a senior fellow with the Center for New American Security.
Amid the attempts by the media and “experts” like Hillary Clinton to blame the president for his lack of support for Puerto Rico, going so far as to say it was racist, Hendrix recounts how the light amphibious carriers Kearsarge and Wasp, and the amphibious landing ship Oak Hill were at sea and dispatched to Puerto Rico ahead of the hurricane’s impact.
“Pulling into a port that has not been surveyed for underwater obstacles like trees or cables or other refuse is an invitation to either put a hole in your ship or foul your propellers or rudders,” Hendrix reminds those critical of delays.
Providing help for Puerto Rico is a much more difficult undertaking than that faced in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. “The island suffers from its position in the middle of the Caribbean and its physical separation from the U.S.,” Hendrix points out, “Its roads were in disrepair and its electrical grid was antiquated prior to the hurricanes. The island has also suffered from ineffective local government and rising local territorial debt,” he continued. Without an air traffic control system, aircraft with government workers, volunteers and supplies were delayed.
In my research for this piece, I have learned that the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Army Corp of Engineers are in place and working hard to restore electric and water service. While supplies have been flooding into the Island, drivers cannot be found to dispatch them to needed communities. In comparison, I am reminded of the neighbors helping neighbors in Texas and Florida.
Puerto Rico’s governor has stated his appreciation to President Trump for his response for help, but the mayor of San Juan chose to pick a fight with the president while being taped standing in front of massive pallets of bottled water.
DOUBLE STANDARD – We’ve seen it a number of times in the political arena. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is in court on corruption charges, but you wouldn’t know it the way the media has barely mentioned it. A Media Research Center study revealed that in first three weeks of former Sen. Ted Stevens’(R-AK) corruption trial in 2008, CNN had produced 36 stories compared to just seven on Menendez. In 2008, then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that “a convicted felon is not going to be able to serve in the United States Senate” as he scheduled a vote on Stevens’ expulsion. Some Democrats are already talking about Menendez staying, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell better not allow that to happen if Menendez is found guilty. Incidentally, the verdict on Stevens was later set aside and his indictment dismissed after evidence of prosecutorial misconduct was uncovered.
OUR UNPRODUCTIVE REPUBLICAN SENATE – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced last week that 274 House-passed bills are sitting on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk awaiting votes. When will someone challenge McConnell for his job?
RUSH LIMBAUGH SPELLED IT OUT for those like me, who are disgusted with the Washington D.C. establishment in a two-part interview with Sean Hannity on Fox September 28 and 29. “ … it goes back to election night. They didn’t expect Trump to win. And they weren’t prepared for Trump to win. And they are still unhappy that Trump won. And I think the real answer to your question is, the Washington establishment, both parties … it’s a small club. It’s elite.
“You can’t get in it because you want to get in it. They don’t have a clubhouse. But Trump would never be admitted to the club no matter what he did. These guys have been running the country … its donors, its think tanks, it is the whole Washington media, the whole establishment. Trump is an outsider. They have been managing the country, ruling the country for however many decades.
“They can’t afford for an outsider neophyte to come in and redo everything. Fix things in three months, fix things in a year. Show that it can be done. Show that an outsider can do it. Show that what they say can’t be done, can be done. I think they are petrified and they are all united, Republicans and Democrats, not just the Senate, in making sure that Trump, the outsider doesn’t succeed with his agenda.”
I’m beginning to believe he’s correct, folks.
OOPS – In my September 30, post on tax cut demagoguery, I quoted Benyamin Applebaum. His name is actually Benyamin Appelbaum. I apologize.
TRUMP’S NOMINATION OF KURT D. ENGELHART to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a district that runs from Alabama to the Rio Grande, is another bright spot in a slate of outstanding picks by the president. It was Engelhart, who wrote a scathing 129-paage order blistering the misconduct of lawyers in the Civil Rights Division of Eric Holder’s (and Obama’s) Justice Department and the New Orleans U.S. Attorney’s office in a prosecution of New Orleans police officers.
“His order offers a look behind the curtain of some of the worst ideological misconduct that occurred at the Obama DOJ,” writes J. Christian Adams, “It is a tale of deliberate and deceptive violation of constitutional rights of police officers in order to get a conviction at any price, and of lying to the court. It is a cautionary tale of civil rights enforcement run amok from ideologically driven hatred of police – an issue that even this week continues to resonate in America.”
The anti-police movement began in the Obama administration on July 22, 2009, when he said the Cambridge, Massachusetts police “acted stupidly,” and continued during his eight years in office. President Trump has the support of the men in blue and is endeavoring turn that around by giving them proper respect.
THE POMPOUS ARROGANCE OF THE SENATE – They bill themselves as the greatest deliberative body, and continually call each other “my good friend,” but the September 19, meeting of the Select Committee on Intelligence was another example of their arrogance.
Michael Cohen, lawyer to President Trump, was scheduled to testify in the Senate’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, when the committee abruptly cancelled the session, because – are you ready for this? – he broke an agreement by releasing his statement to the media in advance. They showed him, by golly. You don’t mess with the greatest deliberative body. Incidentally, Cohen’s statement can be found in the Internet.
“FREE” TO PROTEST. HARDLY – You most likely heard that the security protection for Ben Shapiro’s recent speech at UC Berkeley cost some $600,000. Chicken feed. The Wall Street Journal reports that the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services announced that taxpayers will have to pay about $43 million (that’s correct) in expenses accrued as the state struggled to respond to protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline. North Dakotans will cover most of the cost, but the DOJ has provided the state with a $10 million grant, leaving taxpayers nationwide on the hook to pay for the antics of the 8,000 to 10,000 protesters over 233 days at the site.
LETTER-WRITER WITH COMMON SENSE – “Any rational person with a heart would want to find a way not to deport ‘Dreamer’ illegal immigrants, who came here as children, if they follow the law and contribute to society,” wrote Randy Rossi of Grayslake, Illinois in a letter to The Wall Street Journal, “But anybody with a brain would also want to make sure that we stop rewarding illegal immigrants from bringing in more Dreamer children in the future.”
Rossi believes that President Trump is correct in linking legal status for current Dreamers to tough laws that stop future Dreamers. “The parents of Dreamers knowingly broke the law and put their kids at risk in return for the hope that they would get legal status, jobs and free services,” wrote Rossi, “They knew exactly what they were doing.”
“My wife was a public health nurse and many of her patients were illegal immigrants who knowingly were gaming the system,” said Rossi, “They even made appointments from Mexico before they came here to get free health care at her clinic. They know that they would get free health care, diapers and schooling if they brought or had their kids here.”
In conclusion, Rossi stated that he believed we must combine Dreamer compassion with logic and the rule of law. “If we reward bad behavior,” he said, we will get more of it.”
PEGGY NOONAN is again pushing bipartisanship as a solution to the health insurance mess in her latest Wall Street Journal column. The Dems refuse to give on the repeal of ObamaCare, as if it were the finest piece of legislation ever conceived. Compromising with them will result in a finished product that meets their desires, not ours, and we lose.