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John Oliver explains Puerto Rico – in 2015

You want to know why Puerto Rico is so messed up?

Blame Strom Thurman. Don’t ask because there isn’t an answer. But don’t miss this segment from Last Week Tonight from 2015. And stick with it to the end. This catastrophe was going to happen. It was only a question of when.

Meanwhile, CHIP funding expires in 3 hours.

That’s right, the funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program that provides medical coverage for 9 MILLION children, will expire at midnight tonight because Congress was too busy in the last 2 weeks trying to end Obamacare and they didn’t get around to pushing the funding bill through on time.

Some states will run out of money for CHIP by next week.

Imagine your kid struggling to breathe due to an asthma attack and you have to foot the bill for a trip to the ER. Well, you wouldn’t be on CHIP if you could afford to pay for that out of pocket. I imagine that’s going to come out of funds for rent, food, car payments, gas money, you know, stupid things like that.

This is what happens when you elect a mob and an incompetent non-politician to run the country.

Things fall apart. The center cannot hold… The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

We are going to become the equivalent of any other corrupt and dysfunctional country.

This is what the aggrieved white Trump voters asked for. Not that they give a fuck about anyone but themselves. Unless their kid or grandchildren are on CHIP.

I have a stupid question.

Considering that Puerto Rico’s electrical grid is in such poor shape, the electric company is broke and the infrastructure is pretty much destroyed, why can’t Puerto Rico take some of the load off that failing infrastructure with a mass conversion to solar energy??

How much sunshine does it get a year? You would think that off-grid would be a priority there considering the island could do without Creamsicle’s callous remarks about self-sufficiency. Surely he wouldn’t get in the way of Puerto Rico’s solar conversion. Right?

What do you say, Nydia Velazquez?

HA! Not so stupid after all. There are renewable energy companies already looking into it according to this recent article from Reuters. Can we get Congress to push a bill through to fund it? It’s the least we could do after the horrible neglect of the last week.

Saturday: Waiting for a friend.

Turns out Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States and the people who live there are regular American citizens. Who knew??

About half the country apparently. Is our children learning?

And if you are in the half that didn’t know that, you are much more likely to feel indifferent to the plight of Puerto Ricans. You’d think that we would care because they’re human beings but whatever. They’ve got to go with the fellow Americans they have, not the ones they wish we would be.

The Weeds has a really good podcast on the White House response to Puerto Rico and the complications of dealing with a bankrupt territory. Matt Yglesias talks with Eliza Barclay and Alexia Fernández Campbell in this episode. Standard warning: Matt has a really whiney voice and in this podcast, he indulges in some mansplaining, which is unforgivable because he should know better. I don’t know, maybe he does this intentionally so people like me listen and find reasons to criticize. No publicity is bad publicity, eh, Matt?

Still, The Weeds is one of the best policy podcasts around. Subscribing is highly recommended, Matt’s voice not withstanding.

Jeez, now the Big Orange is going after the mayor of San Juan for not being self-sufficient. Why doesn’t he want to help Puerto Rico just because it’s the right thing to do? Because there are sick people who need help and babies who need clean drinking water? No, instead he wants to appeal to the worst instincts of his base and let them kick Puerto Rico when it’s down. He really is shameless. Evil is when you know what you’re doing to other people is wrong but you do it anyway. That’s Trump and his voters. Completely devoid of empathy and restraint.

**************************************

Meanwhile, I’m at the mall, you know, the one where they filmed zombie movies.

No zombies today. I’m wandering aimlessly, looking for stuff I do not need and putting off cleaning my house. Does H&M sell corkscrews?

Why are they doing this?

I’ll get to that in a minute.

But first, let’s look at the numbers in the new Tax Reform package. Check out this nifty graph from Vox that shows who will benefit the most from the Republican tax reform package:

According to Paul Krugman 79.7% of the tax cuts would go to the top 1%. The 99% below them get 20% of the tax cuts.

Come now, Trump voters, is this the policy that you hoped for so desperately when you voted him into office? Not only do the middle and lower classes get screwed but the give away to the ultra wealthy blows a $2.4 Trillion dollar hole through the budget.

I’m guessing that some thoroughly mentally compromised individual is going to look at those numbers and say something like, “well, they pay the most in taxes, they should get the most back. And anyway, they’re job creators.”

Except trickle down economics has never worked for the middle class because the job creators don’t create jobs with that money.

And there is the problem. There are no incentives for the wealthy to do anything responsible for anyone but themselves. That’s why they do it. It’s because they can. We vote into office THEIR candidates, not YOUR candidates. They know how to push your buttons with abortion and affirmative action and undeserving poor people and unfuckable, unlikeable Hillary. And has been working extraordinarily well for them.

Their goal is to unburden themselves from being their brother’s keeper. For all they care, we might as well be Bangladesh. It’s not THEIR problem if your kid’s schools deteriorate as you are forced to buy junk health insurance at inflated prices and your bridges are falling apart.

It’s YOUR problem for voting their people into office. If you don’t care about your own needs, why should they?

Can we get this guy for our president? Please??

Courtesy of pm317, here’s a message for all of us from Lt. General Silveria at the USAF academy

E Pluribus Unum.

Can someone send this to Trump?

*************************************

If you’ve ever wondered…

… then the Republicans have a tax cut for YOU!

You’re going to love this twitter thread from Michael Linden, Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute.

Friday Fast for Puerto Rico

Hi Conflucians,

In the past 9 years, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs. But nothing compares to what our fellow Americans are going through in Puerto Rico right now in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Aid has been slow to get to that country, er, unincorporated US territory. Some of it has to do with the President’s (not MY president) worst instincts: protecting a shipping industry at Puerto Rico’s expense and abandoning it because it owes money to Wall Street and can’t pay FEMA back for its share of its own rescue.

That’s a crime, people. If “out of many, one” means anything at all, it means that we stick up for ALL Americans no matter where they come from or what island or state they just happen to live in when their fiscal matters are mismanaged and exploited by others.

So, today, asking you to join me in this Friday Fast and give your lunch money to Puerto Rico. Here’s the latest appeal from Trevor Noah:

You can also contribute via one of the links in Stephen Colbert’s Hurricane relief page.

Here’s what you do:

1.) Pick an org

2.) Donate your lunch money for today. If I go out to lunch, I spend around $8-11. Because today is September 29, I am going to donate a multiple of $9.29.

3.) Leave a comment below.

We did this in 2008 for Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign and raised thousands of dollars. All those little contributions add up quickly. As Margaret Meade said:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Enjoy you water and crackers. 😘

****************************

I’ll go first:

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sue!

Your age is just a number. It doesn’t mean anything if you look mahvelous.

And anyway, you can apply a vanity aging strategy. If someone asks you how old you are, add 20 years. They’ll tell you that you look great!

Here’s a blast from the past for you Sue:

Ahhh, how lovely!

Please excuse me if I listen to Coldplay on the way to the bus.

Thursday: The Country of Puerto Rico, Part 4

It turns out that Puerto Rico is waaaaaay out there in the middle of the ocean, almost as inaccessible as Tristan da Cunha. It will take months for our 10 gun brig sloop, The Tremendous, to reach it. But first, we need to meet with the financial backers of this excursion.

The natives are thought to be friendly and their lot is life is such that they will not greatly mind the delay. Surely there are beasts in the sea to feed upon and potable water from the heavens.

We will be greeted as saviors.

Huzzah!

*******************************

OMG, three more years of this. I can hardly wait. Shoot me now.

*******************************

Trump and the Deplorable Republican Congress’s new tax plan gives big cuts to the wealthy and screws the middle class especially people in big blue coastal elite states with high state taxes, which will no longer be deductible.

It’s a twofer! Who says the GOP doesn’t have big ideas??

*********************************

Hugh Hefner is dead.

I think the man would see that we honor him with as much sex as we can possibly get as a fitting memorial.

Well, that’s my theory anyway and I’m sticking with it.

Who’s with me on this? Everybody raise your, um, HANDS. Yeah, that’s it, raise your hands. Where we can see them.

(Wipe that smile off your face, BiFF)

*********************************

Michelle Obama says that any woman who didn’t vote for Hillary “voted against their own voice.”

Well, she would know.

No, I’m not over 2008. Why do you ask?

******************************

I received this urgent appeal from the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh this morning:

The reports from Puerto Rico are heartbreaking, the destruction left behind by Hurricane Maria unimaginable. Entire communities have been wiped out, and the recovery effort will be measured in months and years, not days and weeks.

After YMCA of the USA’s (Y-USA) fundraising appeals for YMCAs in Texas and Florida affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Y family naturally has reached out to us to ask how they can help Puerto Rico. As devastating as those hurricanes were, the situation in Puerto Rico is on another level due to its fragile infrastructure, its island location and the magnitude of the storm’s impact.

Normally, Y-USA would raise money to support the YMCAs in San Juan and Ponce, so they could get up and running to support their communities, but that is not feasible right now. There are basic human needs – water, food, medicine and clothing – that must be met first and immediately. So, Y-USA recommends that Ys wishing to address the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico give to theUnited for Puerto Rico campaign launched by its government. Visit the campaign’s website to learn more about the impact of the storm, the pressing needs there and how to give.

We do not have much information about the status of the Ys in San Juan and Ponce. We do know their facilities sustained major damage, and that like most people on the island, their staff don’t have water or access to electrical power and communication networks. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and we will update you when we have more information.

If you are a proud member of the Y like I am, consider this appeal and give to help our fellow American citizens in Puerto Rico in solidarity.

I propose a Friday Fast campaign here like we used to do back in 2008. The concept is, you give up yoir lunch money for Friday and donate it to a cause. In the past, I havd recommended Feed America. Tomorrow, we could do the United for Puerto Rico campaign. is anyone interested?

If we coukd get more of the lefty blogs onboard, that would be Fantastic, Great and Tremendous.

****************************

I finally figured out how to deal with my blonde hair. It’s more high maintenance that I thought it would be. But I think I’ve got it now. And if the weather will cooperate…

I need some Stones this morning.

Hump Day: Extraordinary

Average everyday sane psycho… supergoddess

New perfume sample smells like Campari. I will want a Negroni all day.

****************************************

Extraordinary podcasts:

The Weeds explains the history and current practice of using the budget reconciliation process and why it results in “shitty” legislation. Voters should know exactly what they are voting for. Do they want even more non-cooperation and heartless healthcare bills? Ok, then vote for extremist Republican candidates. That’s how the senate rolls these days. Warning: Matt Yglesias forms words and vocalizes again. His attempts to curb his whiney, affected voice appears to be not suck-ceeeding.

******************************************

Thomas Stopka at Tufts University says that the Opioid Crisis is causing an uptick in infectious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis C and other deadly diseases. Yet another reason to not cut funding in any “healthcare” bill. (The GOP will never stop trying)

******************************************

Dana Milbank at WaPo says that Trump ignored Puerto Rico because of race and ethnicity. I think it’s more venal than that. Puerto Rico owes Wall Street money. In either case, it shows a shocking disregard for the human lives at stake.