Trump didn’t botch Puerto Rico … double standard politics … our unproductive Senate … Rush Limbaugh on target … Trump judge nomination … our arrogant Senate … the high cost of protest … common sense from a letter-writer … and Peggy Noonan, wrong again

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.

Tax cut demagoguery begins … First Lady insulted … an NFL update … Brokaw sees crisis … punishing climate change deniers … Swamp-dweller Price resigns … and Justice Thomas finally honored

Here are my observations on items in the news.

WITH TAX CUT DETAILS STILL TO COME, Democrats and other naysayers are already spouting how it will help the wealthy and ignores the middle class. Here’s a sentence from Binyamin Applebaum’s New York Times story on how President Trump’s tax cut plan helps the rich: “The plan would not benefit lower-income households that do not pay federal income taxes.”

“So, let’s see: a tax cut doesn’t help people who don’t pay taxes,” writes Steven Hayward, “Whoa! What a concept! Let that sink in a minute.”

I wonder if Applebaum’s desk at the Times is next to Paul Krugman’s, who on the morning after the presidential election, predicted “a global economic recession with no end in sight.” Krugman also mocked Trump’s GDP projection.

First Lady Melania Trump was insulted by a school librarian after reading to elementary students. (neon-nettle.com)

MELANIA TRUP ACCUSED OF RACISM – It wasn’t enough that the anti-Trumpers fabricated a racism accusation over the president’s SOB remark regarding the NFL players who are dishonoring the flag and our national anthem. After the First Lady read from Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” to an elementary class in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she donated ten Dr. Seuss books to the school, but the school librarian, Liz Phipps Soeiro, refused to accept the gift, criticizing Trump administration education policies and images in the books. Phipps Soeiro claims the illustrations in the Suess books are “steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures and harmful stereotypes.” Will this nonsense ever stop?

A FOLLOW UP TO MY “NO LONGER AN NFL FAN” PIECE – On September 25, I recalled my school days when we stood and pledged allegiance to the flag every morning, and how I couldn’t have imagined then the disrespect for the flag and our national anthem that we are experiencing today.

TWO DAYS LATER, the left-leaning Arizona Republic gave front page coverage with a color photograph of a Chandler High School senior who has been sitting during the pledge. When confronted by the teacher in private in the hallway, the black student said, “I personally don’t stand for the pledge because of everything that’s been going on in the African-American community, with police brutality and protests that have turned violent.” BUT, when the teacher asked her to stand in the hallway during the pledge in the future, the parents complained to the principal, who sided with the student, indicating he was proud of her. THE TEACHER later apologized to the student in front of the class, no doubt forced to do so by the principal. The teacher, I assume, needed the job and didn’t have the option of resigning. A sad day in our public school system.

AN ASIDE – In addition to the pledge that we responsibly recited beginning in elementary school, my public high school principal led us in the Lord’s Prayer. Can you imagine that taking place today?

GREEN BAY PACKER FANS, perhaps the most dedicated fan base in the NFL, said “hell no” to the players’ plea for fans to stand and lock arms in support of them during the playing of the national anthem on Thursday night. While a few did so, most stood with their hands over their hearts or saluted in military style.

HERE IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE NFL POLICY MANUAL that makes it quite clear what is expected of each team. “During the playing of the national anthem, players on the field should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking.  Players in the bench areas should do the same, and line themselves up evenly along the sidelines.”

MEANWHILE, OVER AT NASCAR, several car owners openly disagreed with Dale Earnhardt Jr., who said protesting during the national anthem was okay with him. “Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in,” said Richard Childress. Richard Petty agreed saying, “Any protester who works for him will be fired.”

“No one has the ‘right’ to protest on his company’s time,” writes Denise McAllister in a compelling piece published in The Federalist this week. “Here’s a lesson for those too immature or narcissistic to grasp it on their own: When you are at work, you don’t have the right to do, say, or wear anything you want. You have contracted your time to another person or a group, and it is your responsibility to do what they required of you. It is perfectly within their rights as employers to say they will fire anyone who does something they forbid on their time.”

Obviously, the 84 percent who supposedly support the players’ right to protest in the recent Seton Hall University poll are unaware of a person’s rights on or at a place of business.

AN ASIDE: As a public affairs vice president with a Fortune 500 firm, I was not permitted to cite my political opinions as I do in this blog, not even a letter to the editor of a newspaper.

MCALLISTER’S PIECE can be read in its entirety by clicking here.

NETWORK COMPLICITY – The networks seem to like what the players are doing to get back at the president for his remarks. Except for the Super Bowl, they typically do not televise the national anthem, but they obviously see this as a means to keep the controversy going.

TOM BROKAW just cannot stay retired, but MSNBC’s Morning Joe was more than happy to have him on air bad-mouthing President Trump. Referring to the president’s comments on the NFL, Brokaw claimed that Trump, and some people on the right, want “to destroy the prevailing culture in this country,” adding “This is a crisis point for this country.” Really? Tom. Really?

WORD FROM ANOTHER WACKO – Liberal activist Naomi Klein is blaming oil and coal companies for the devastation of Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma and has called for their prosecution for climate denial. “You know,” she said, “These are not just natural disasters. These are disasters that have become unnatural, that have become unnaturally catastrophic, because of the impacts of climate change, but also because of deregulation” – and get ready for this – “because of inequality, of racial injustice.” (Media Research Center)

TRUMP CLEANS A “SWAMPER” FROM HIS CABINET – Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price represented what Donald Trump saw wrong in the Washington D.C. swamp during the campaign – individuals who spent taxpayer money like it was their own. In Price’s case, he chalked up $1 million in private air travel in less than nine months. President Trump was not happy, and called for Price’s resignation Friday. There are those who speculate Trump’s dissatisfaction with Price was linked to his inability to pass the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare. Maybe. Regardless, he’s gone.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, I GUESS – Many conservatives criticized the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture for snubbing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at its opening last year. At the same time, the museum devoted considerable space to the Black Panthers, hip hop, the Black Lives Matter movement and even a pin reading, “I Believe Anita Hill.”

Now, as the museum celebrates its first anniversary, Thomas will finally be honored, but at the same time, the museum has accepted gear worn by Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem. Believe it.