Aerial view of the "good news." Photo by Ricardo Arduengo/ AFP/Getty
Heroine of the day is San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who furiously ripped Trump administration officials a new one for determinedly inhabiting a self-serving alternative universe that views the apocalyptic conditions facing the island as "a good news story." Yulín Cruz was responding Friday to a CNN news clip she hadn't seen - given, duh, there's no power and she's otherwised occupied - of a stunningly oblivious acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke declaring Puerto Rico's status "really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane."
To get its impact, you really have to see Yulín Cruz' response, the slow roiling of first disbelief, then repugnance, then fury. "Well maybe from where she's standing it's a good news story," Yulín Cruz starts mildly. "When you're drinking from a creek, it's not a good news story. When you don't have food for a baby, it's not a good news story...." She goes on to recite the daily calamities she sees: Sick people without oxygen or dialysis or the power to provide it, stranded people on roofs, nursing homes that have become "human cages," a city of 350,00 people who have received 4,000 bottles of water and four pallets of food, 77 more isolated towns that have received nothing.
“Damn it, this is not a good news story," she proclaims. "This is a people are dying story. This is a life-or-death story. This is a 'there's a truck load of stuff that cannot be taken to people story.' This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen." Amen. At the mercy of powers greater than herself, she carefully pauses to recognize that FEMA people "are working hard (and) doing their best" before thanking Trump for "listening to our mayday call." Still, she calls on him to "step up to the moral imperative that you’ve taken on all over the world to help those in need."
To this we say, good luck to you. Given his "bumbling cruelty" to date - his waiting the mandatory two weeks to help brown people, his smirking bogus claims to the "great marks we're getting," his hateful blaming them for their troubles, his own contribution to them by ripping them off for millions with his bankrupt golf course - we expect more of the same stupefying indifference to human life. Which is, stresses Charlie Pierce, not an aberration, but the expression of the sick world view of today's GOP: "They draw on their theological devotion to a series of conjuring words while people struggle to get drinking water and to clean the mold out of their houses. One storm follows another, and the answer is always the same. Magical thinking, ideological gobbledegook, and penurious inhumanity."
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More. Photo by Carlos Guisti/AP
The Great Pretender at his Puerto Rico golf course, bankrupt like him