Playing Monopoly with loaded dice

Tom Camfield
Blogger
Posted 9/13/19

SO WHAT WILL THE SCAM BE FOR 2020? The losers in this current shell game (besides conned taxpayers in general) are would-have-been construction wage-earners most everywhere throughout the country and …

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Playing Monopoly with loaded dice

Posted

SO WHAT WILL THE SCAM BE FOR 2020? The losers in this current shell game (besides conned taxpayers in general) are would-have-been construction wage-earners most everywhere throughout the country and overseas. Everything from elementary and middle schools, to a hazardous waste site, to overseas military housing in South Korea, Puerto Rico and elsewhere. Even $27 million for Whidbey Island Naval Air, storage capacity in Germany, a major maintenance site in Great Britain, overseas “contingencies” in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc.

This $3.6 seemingly is part of the $8 billion Donald intends to devote to new wall construction after declaring a national emergency to keep out an "invasion" of immigrants. I suspect if this ploy survives McConnell’s Congress, the next defense budget will be inflated enough to reinstate all of these projects, especially in swing states to impress voters with Trumpian largesse. Lord only knows just how Donald will divert the rest of that $8 billion.

Meanwhile, with visions of Donald prancing in my head, I’m reminded of another “stable genius”— Archie Bunker in the old “All in the Family” TV series. Archie once said in his denigrating racial-stereotyping way: “The only difference between Mexico and Puerto Rico is the fence between them.”

You may decide, as did I, from the chart above that when Donald chants “America First,” he’s obviously not including Puerto Rico (or Guam) in his conception of real America. Puerto Rico is a far-greater loser than any of the 50 states (and Guam, another U.S. territory, is a strong second) in loss of funding for construction. Puerto Rico has been getting the short end of the stick from Donald and his agencies and associates ever since the island was devastated by hurricane Maria (and hurricane Irma) in 2017, the worst natural disaster in nearly a century.

There was pretty sleazy disaster aid from our mainland to the state of emergency from which Puerto Rico still is struggling to recover.

Fortunately, Puerto Rico was spared the full force of current hurricane Dorian. But Donald made a special effort to propagandize the public mind before the storm reached the area—in case another serious measure of disaster aid might soon be requested. “Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth. Their political system is broken and their politicians are either Incompetent or Corrupt. Congress approved Billions of Dollars last time, more than anyplace else has ever gotten, and it is sent to Crooked Pols. No good! . . .

“. . . And by the way, I’m the best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico!”

On Aug. 28. MotherJones.com noted: “On Tuesday, President Trump falsely claimed on Twitter that Congress granted Puerto Rico $92 billion in aid. According to FEMA’s data on disaster funding, Congress has allocated a total of almost $42.7 billion, less than half of what Trump claimed, to the Puerto Rican government for disaster assistance, flood control, and other services related to recovery. Of the amount Congress has approved for Puerto Rico, less than $14 billion has been disbursed to the island so far.”

On April 1 the U.S. Senate voted down two different disaster bills providing relief for Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans are citizens of the U.S., legal residents in any state. But Donald seems to consider the island more like one of the “s—-hole” nations to which he once referred. Of course, while citizens, Puerto Ricans do not vote for President or have their own senators, etc.—unless they are living in the U.S.

You can see from the above map that if Donald’s anti-refugee wall were extended east through the Gulf of Mexico (which he has not yet re-named) Puerto Rico would be well south. And those people, some 3.4 million of them, are ethnically Hispanic.

How come Hawaii became a state in 1959 and 60 years later Puerto Rico is still a territory?

DETAIL—The most recent U.S. warrior killed in Afghanistan was SFC Barreto Ortiz of the 82nd Airborne Division. He was Puerto Rican.

NEXT UP—Funding from the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act and the Affordable Care Act runs out September 30. For Puerto Rico, starting Oct. 1, 2019, the beginning of fiscal year 2020, the island would receive only an estimated $366.7 million in federal matching dollars to cover its
Medicaid beneficiaries. Some 1.6 milllion, nearly half the island’s population, are reliant upon Medicaid. See https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/460926-puerto-ricos-next-crisis-is-coming-and-only-congress-can-stop

IN MEMORY of Port Townsend’s Abraham (Abie) Velasquez, his wife Brenda and their dog Pickles. Abie was a long-time friend and fellow Legionnaire who, after Brenda died, returned to his native Puerto Rico to spend his final years.

Comments

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Justin Hale

The masses of migrants from Ce.Am. have over-run our immigration and border security facilities and capacity to deal with and of course, according to the biased MSM the problem at the Border is all Trumps fault. On top of that, there are those crossing our borders illegally. You can't stop those presenting themselves at a border crossing, they have a right to Legally seek refuge, but you can at least try to impede the illegal entry by constructing a barrier/wall. I'm guessing that isn't a huge issue with you though.

I'm not well informed about Puerto Rico, I don't know how many tax dollars have been sent there over these many years. BUT,, I do know that the History of U.S. aid to foreign nations is replete with abuse.

Puerto Rico and Guam are not being over-run by migrants, are they? I support a free Puerto Rico, let them become their own nation. I know a few people from P.R. and I've seen the pictures of the Island, no reason why they couldn't have a thriving tourist industry,,,,,except for the occasional hurricane that wipes out all your investments.

"How come Hawaii became a state in 1959 and 60 years later Puerto Rico is still a territory?" Trump obviously!

Respect to the memory of M. Velasquez and his Family.

Saturday, September 14
Tom Camfield

Guatemalans, Hondurans, Puerto Ricans and other Caribbeans, Mexicans, domestic African-Americans, native central Africans, Muslims . . . I believe they're all pretty much lumped together in the mind of Donald Trump. And he's not alone in pursuing a Hitleresque paleface world society. Or at least a white supremacist American society.

Adolf Hitler's plan was to create a "Master Race,” the Aryans. The envisioned Aryan race consisted of northern-European Germanic people that had blond hair, light colored skin, and blue eyes. As with Donald (who once mentioned them as referred immigrants), I believe Norwegians also were OK with Adolph. A member of the “master race” would be an “ubermensch” (super man). Superiority was the selling point.

Donald is pretty obvious in his efforts to create stereotypes in the minds of white mongrel Americans . . . such as I. But I don't want to live in a world such as envisioned by him. I can certainly look at myself as fortunate that circumstance of fate did not leave me suffering the indignities and miseries of an individual in Puerto Rico or a Black man in Mississippi or Alabama. But I refuse to entertain the thought that I have some measure of superiority automatically imbued into my being at birth.

It all calls to mind "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." In the context of humankind, these people being categorized as lesser beings are not nebulous entities that should be barred from intruding on our consciences.

I can't help but think at least part of the world would be a better place if instead of spending three-quarters of a trillion dollars a year on our fighting-force military we were to implement more of a concerted hands-on effort of infrastructure re-building in Puerto Rico, with proper U.S. presence and oversight.

All of these people that so many would keep out of sight, out of mind have faces, have names, have individual souls. And we all bleed red.

Saturday, September 14
Justin Hale

"I can't help but think at least part of the world would be a better place if instead of spending three-quarters of a trillion dollars a year on our fighting-force military we were to implement more of a concerted hands-on effort of infrastructure re-building in Puerto Rico, with proper U.S. presence and oversight. "..... I agree, and remember who it is that creates the federal budget. I know it's easy for you Trump-haters to blame Trump for all of the ills of the world but it's the Congress that creates the budget.

Monday, September 16
Tom Camfield

Yeah. Take a page from Donald's book and blame anyone but him. As I remember, the president presents the budget to congress for its approval/.

And as for congressional inaction, let's look Republican Senate Majority Leader Addison "Mitch" McConnell who just recently stated he would allow no proposed bill for a vote of the senate unless it has the approval of Donald Trump. We're supposed to have three branches of government for checks and balances. We have Donald, a judicial system that he is tailoring to his way of thinking and a U.S. senate that won't make a move without his say-so.

Doesn't that begin to tell you something?

Monday, September 16
Justin Hale

As I understand it the POTUS presents his budget to the Congress, the Congress marks it up or down, the POTUS has veto power, but Congress can override his veto if they have the votes.

" McConnell who just recently stated he would allow no proposed bill for a vote of the Senate unless it has the approval of Donald Trump." I looked for that comment on the Googleator and couldn't can you cite your source. In any case, you know full well that both parties play the same games.

Monday, September 16
Tom Camfield

Sorry, I can't save everything I read in print newspapers or by way of the Internet. However, as I'm also about out the door for an appointment, I just Googled a quick look and found this Newsweek item from Sept. 10 that's somewhat related: https://www.newsweek.com/senate-gop-waiting-trump-approval-gun-control-1458606

It begins;"Senate Republicans remain in a state of limbo on gun control as they await President Donald Trump to take a definitive stance on which — if any — gun control measures he supports so the party can move forward in considering legislation aimed to curb future gun violence.

"GOP members indicated that, while they may support certain gun violence prevention measures like so-called 'red flag' laws and increased background checks, they're unwilling to take concrete steps without support from Trump because it would be futile to only have their efforts thwarted by a presidential veto.

" 'I agree with [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell. I think it's very important that we know where the president is at," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Newsweek. "You got senators, like myself, and others reaching out to Democratic colleagues to find common ground on protective orders and background checks. They're working with the White House, and we gotta hear from the president and his team that they're in the game because if they're not in the game, it won't work.'

"Graham, a close ally to Trump, was unsure when the president would take a public stance on which gun control measures he supports, considering his messaging on the matter has been inconsistent in the wake of several mass shootings in August that left dozens of people dead". . .

My own thinking is that the Senate is just plain sailing under false colors with this veto hot air. If they should pass a gun control bill and Donald vetoes it, it would definitely put him on record as sleeping with the NRA. So this is all largely about protecting Donald's butt.

Other bills being held up have to do with protecting our election process. Don't look for much acton there from a party knee-deep in voter suppression.

I'll prowl a little more later but will be turning my main attention to blog for tomorrow morning (Sept. 18). It will be a petty meaty one.

Tuesday, September 17
'Tom Camfield

Here’s a July 25 article: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked two election security measures on Thursday, arguing Democrats are trying to give themselves a ‘political benefit.' The move comes a day after former special counsel Robert Mueller warned about election meddling in 2020, saying Russia was laying the groundwork to interfere in the 2020 election ’as we sit here.’ Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) had tried to get consent Thursday to pass a House bill that requires the use of paper ballots and includes funding for the Election Assistance Commission. It passed the House 225-184 with one Republican voting for it.” Etc. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/454742-mcconnell-blocks-two-election-security-bills

No, this doesn’t mention presidential approval or control. But spin this any way you want and it still won’t look clean. I’ll prowl the Internet a bit more as I get time.

Tuesday, September 17
Justin Hale

The Congress should vote any such legislation up or down, regardless of what the President thinks, they know if they have the votes to override a veto or not. And Yes we have a gutless congress.

"Mitch" McConnell who just recently stated he would allow no proposed bill for a vote of the Senate unless it has the approval of Donald Trump." ..... I don't think that's what he said in referring to ALL legislation before the Congress, rather specifically towards gun legislation.

Tuesday, September 17
Tom Camfield

And that alone is worthy of condemnation.

Wednesday, September 18
Justin Hale

Tom, do you say the same thing when the Democrats do the same thing?

Wednesday, September 18
Tom Camfield

Instances don't come to mind. I do recall easily, though, how the McConnell-led Senate refused to consider an Obama appointment to the Supreme Court. Dragged the matter on until after Trump was elected. And the two of them are continuing the attempt to take over the judicial system by appointing-confirming federal judges as swiftly as possible before the 2020 election

Friday, September 20
Justin Hale

Selective memory.

Saturday, September 21
Tom Camfield

Nothing wrong with my memory. I was just recounting last week to an interviewer my first memory in Port Townsend, making hand-cranked ice cream (strawberry) with my mother back in the winter of 1932-'33 when we lived up on Willow Street. I can also remember walking the deck of the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") when she was anchored here during a tour of the west coast, but I believe that was later, around later 1933 or 1934, which also was the year of the great hurricane, which I remember vividly.

As for presidents, I was born during the Hoover administration, but my first memories in that area are of FDR's extended term in office.

Monday, October 7