“Unsung Success” in Puerto Rico

Following up on examples of the incredible and unsung success of the recovery effort in Puerto Rico described by Mr. Trump, from Begnaud/CBSNews:

What may be millions of water bottles. meant for victims of Hurricane Maria, have been sitting on a runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, since last year, according to @FEMA, which confirmed the news to me, late tonight, after pictures, posted today on social media, went viral.

If 2975 dead is a success, what does a failure look like?

But Mr. Trump did pass out some paper towel rolls.

78 thoughts on ““Unsung Success” in Puerto Rico

  1. pgl

    I saw this story this morning. The gross incompetence of this White House and Trump’s total lack of caring about Hispanics is as clear of a fact that Florence will be a monster storm.

    I have been holding back a wee bit on saying what I really think about the excuse makers for this grossly unfit Commander in Chief. Alas, I sort of expect the excuse makers to echo their pure intellectual garbage as they always do. I’m biting my tongue for now but when relatives of dear friends died because of Trump’s indifference, I cannot promise not to say what needs to be said. People died needlessly but the pathetic excuses continue.

  2. pgl

    ‘A Senior FEMA official just told me: “if we put that water on that runway there will be hell to pay” adding, “if we did that we’re going to fess up to it.” Puerto Rico govt, without producing proof, claims FEMA did do that.’

    Just wow! Of course CoRev has been ordered by Team Trump to argue over and over again the line about “without producing proof”. Look Trump will never take any responsibility for anything. It just is not his style.

    1. CoRev

      ” Look Trump will never take any responsibility for anything. It just is not his style.” Nor will Libs/Dems ever blame local Dem authorities for anything. For instance notifying the local populace that the water is at the airport nor attempting to develop a LOCAL distribution network.

      Nope! It’s much easier to blame anyone but their own leaders for failing in the basic leadership roles. Oh, or I almost forgot, exaggerating the impact of a NY response compared to the then known Federal response to a REGIONAL disaster which BTW was the 2nd of the Summer.

  3. joseph

    “If 2975 dead is a success, what does a failure look like?”

    Well, one candidate for that category would be GW Bush who, when on a month-long vacation after just 6 months in office, after receiving the Presidential Daily Briefing which said “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S”, told the briefer “All right. You’ve covered your ass, now” and headed off to chop some wood for recreation. This occurred just a few weeks before the 9/11 attack killing 3000. That was a pretty big failure.

    Note that the occasion for Bush’s month long vacation was in celebration of all the hard work he did helping pass the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

    1. pgl

      Exactly! “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S”.

      Condi Rice delivered this memo to GWB. But she tried to tell Congress that they had no idea that this was coming. Seriously? She was the worst NSA chief EVER!

        1. CoRev

          What was actionable in that memo? The two Agency heads, if they felt so strongly, probably had already strengthened their efforts. What other actions should have been done?

          1. pgl

            “What was actionable in that memo? The two Agency heads, if they felt so strongly, probably had already strengthened their efforts. What other actions should have been done?”

            You have to be kidding. Condi Rice could have called in Richard Clark for one. Oh wait – Clark presented her something called
            A Comprehensive Strategy to Fight Al-Qaeda

            This was back in January 2001. She got around to taking it seriously on September 4, 2001. Way too late. Worst National Security Adviser ever.

            On in 2018 clueless CoRev still says we could not have taken action. LORD!

          2. pgl

            Political-Military Plan Delenda


            Plan Delenda was conceived by Richard Clark and should have been implemented as soon as we learned that the attack on the USS Cole was by Al Qaeda (we confirmed that during February 2001). Alas – Bush43 was not interested in “swatting flies”. We did implement this plan later in 2001 AFTER 9/11. And it worked very well.

            But CoRev insists we had nothing actionable in light of the August 6, 2001 PDB?!

          3. CoRev

            Pgl, what was ACTIONABLE in the Clarke memo? Changing policy? Adding attention to al Qaeda?

            Where did you think they needed troops and/or to target?

            Sheesh! Get out of your NYC office and look at the rest of the world.

          4. pgl

            “Pgl, what was ACTIONABLE in the Clarke memo? Changing policy? Adding attention to al Qaeda?”

            Lord CoRev – I would have never imagined that even you would ask such a stupid question. Write on your chalk board 500 times – Delenda Plan.

            As pathetic as Condi Rice was – we should be thankful you were not the National Security Adviser in 2001. Otherwise Al Qaeda would have never been attacked at all.

          5. CoRev

            Pgl, again adds no value by claiming the Delenda Plan was actionable Even his reference said this:
            SLADE GORTON, Commission member: Now, since my yellow light is on, at this point my final question will be this: Assuming that the recommendations that you made on January 25th of 2001, based on Delenda, based on Blue Sky, including aid to the Northern Alliance, which had been an agenda item at this point for two and a half years without any action, assuming that there had been more Predator reconnaissance missions, assuming that that had all been adopted say on January 26th, year 2001, is there the remotest chance that it would have prevented 9/11?

            CLARKE: No.

            GORTON: It just would have allowed our response, after 9/11, to be perhaps a little bit faster?

            CLARKE: Well, the response would have begun before 9/11.

            GORTON: Yes, but there was no recommendation, on your part or anyone else’s part, that we declare war and attempt to invade Afghanistan prior to 9/11?

            CLARKE: That’s right.

            And Condoleezza Rice closed that session with:
            “In the memorandum that Dick Clarke sent me on January 25th, he mentions sleeper cells. There is no mention or recommendation of anything that needs to be done about them. And the FBI was pursuing them. And usually when things come to me it’s because I’m supposed to do something about it, and there was no indication that the FBI was not adequately pursuing the sleeper cells. ”

            Again, I ask what was the actionable advice?

  4. pgl

    “If 2975 dead is a success, what does a failure look like?”

    That many people died in Manhattan just over 17 years ago. I’m still waiting for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to admit that they should have taken Al Qaeda more seriously than they originally did.

    1. pgl

      “FEMA was overwhelmed by too many disasters”.

      Wow – Peaky thinks we are a impoverished 3rd world nation. Way to go Peaky – tell everyone that America lives up to such incredibly low expectations.

          1. CoRev

            Pgl lies again. I showed him the actual appropriations where FEMA went up from 2017 and the Trump budget. Repeating the lie does not add truth.

      1. Steven Kopits

        After no landfall hurricanes for 12 years, and then three major strikes in 20 days? Well, I would be surprised if they weren’t overwhelmed.

        1. pgl

          Excuse # 1 million and one! FEMA did OK for the 1st two but that involved white citizens. FEMA utterly failed after Maria. No excuse. But do continue your parade of denying the deaths. That is what Trump did today.

          1. CoRev

            PGL, you have yet to show any evidence of FEMA’s utter failure in handling Maria. Could they have done better? Yes! That’s true foe every disaster. Utter failure? No. Stop the exaggerations or show us the utter failure evidence and not just some mistakes.

            I’ve caught you lying several times and exaggerating even more often. You have lost all credibility.

  5. Bruce Hall

    If FEMA place million(s) of bottles of water on a tarmac, what was the local government doing for the past year? Was it the duty of FEMA to pass out water to individuals? Why didn’t the government of an island roughly 1/3 the size of Massachusetts take action to distribute the water? Get some pickup trucks or stake trucks and drive for 1/2 an hour. Too busy complaining about Washington? Inquiring minds want to know.

    I know, I know; the PR government couldn’t be sure it was meant for PR.

    1. pgl

      Lord – it was not our job to send in the Marines to help with the logistics? Sorry Bruce – but this is really, really stupid.

    2. baffling

      i don’t know, bruce, perhaps because the roads and bridges had been severed by the storm, flooding and landslides? i take it you have never been in an area after a natural disaster. transportation is extremely difficult, if not impossible. one of the reasons the military should be involved in the immediate aftermath.

      1. pgl

        So you are taking a victory lap again for Trump as along as FEMA put water on the beach – they did their job? FEMA is nothing more than a shipping company with no responsibility for the logistics of getting the water from the beach to the people who need it? Lord the victim shaming is on full display today!

          1. pgl

            You take one small piece out of a very long set of twitter exchanges. You do love to cherry pick in order to misrepresent issues. No wonder Team Trump pays you to write this intellectual garbage.

  6. pgl

    I actually love how Bruce framed this:

    “If FEMA place million(s) of bottles of water on a tarmac, what was the local government doing for the past year? Was it the duty of FEMA to pass out water to individuals?”

    In an emergency it should be all hands on deck. We have an incredibly military machine who could have done wonders with such logistics if the Commander in Chief asked them to do with what they do best.

    But Team Trump – which clearly includes Bruce – takes the narrow union shop steward attitude, that’s not our job. Seriously fellows?

    1. CoRev

      Pgl, why didn’t the extraordinary NY response teams handle it? Wasn’t yoou who claimed the DOD provide4d nothing? Now you are blaming them for not doing enough. What a kazoo.

      1. pgl

        CoRev keeps reminding he cannot read. The New York crew were electrical line men not the logistics crew. My – my internet stalker is about as bright as Krugman’s internet stalker (aka Donald Luskin).

        1. CoRev

          Pgl, stalking? All I.m doing is correcting your irrational claims. The NY electrical line men should have repaired the PR grid before leaving n since you claimed NY did more than the administration.

  7. Bruce Hall

    I love your analogy to union stewardship attitudes. But you miss the point completely… as usual. Ask yourself why on a relatively small piece of land that the people in charge were unable to muster enough courage? initiative? care? give-a-shit? that they couldn’t organize… I love that word, don’t you?… resources on the island as small as pickup trucks or stake trucks to… in this one small way… help themselves when the supplies were sitting there?

    You, of course, have forgotten how the Cajun Navy stepped in when Katrina was devastating Louisiana. They didn’t cry for FEMA or the marines. But that doesn’t fit the narrative that nothing can be accomplished unless the government is controlling everything. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/remembering-the-cajun-navy-10-years-after-hurricane-katrina/

    I find this attitude of needing to blame someone for not helping me enough when I won’t do anything for myself particularly pathetic. This water-on-the-tarmac kerfuffle is a grand example of that.

    1. pgl

      Menzie nailed this. You are blaming the victims here. After all Hispanics are real Americans or even real people to you.

      1. Bruce Hall

        pgl, Everything is about race to you. I’m not “blaming” (nice loaded word), I’m pointing out that the local government and residents could have… but didn’t… do what was necessary to distribute the water themselves… unlike the actions of the “Cajun Navy” that disregarded “official” proclamations that it was too dangerous and they shouldn’t go save those 10,000 people who were stranded (link provided in previous comment).

        But, again, it’s all about “victims” and the savior government… and any perceived shortcomings of the government is automatically “racist”, but never a thought that sometimes people have to step up their own courage and actions. You never did address why the PR government and unions and people themselves didn’t take the simple actions necessary to distribute the water over the course of a whole year… but waited for someone else to do it (we didn’t know it was there… we weren’t authorized… it was too difficult… not our job).

        Stick to your economic algorithms; you fail at understanding actions in crises.

        1. pgl

          “I’m pointing out that the local government and residents could have… but didn’t… do what was necessary to distribute the water themselves”

          Lord – still blaming the Puerto Ricans as if you think they were too lazy and stupid to help themselves. I bet you have never seen a disaster area in your life. I have. And it is all hands on deck helping those who are in need. No excuses and no blaming those in need.

          Hey Bruce – please never show up in a disaster area as you would be useless.

          1. Bruce Hall

            pgl, still sticking to your “blaming” script? How long would have been enough for the PR government to step up? Two years? Three? How about the able-bodied in the community? Oh, those were just a bunch of racist southerners running around in boats. They’re not like the noble victims of PR who were overwhelmed by nature. Katrina was a mild breeze compared to what blew through PR.

            What’s your definition of “all hands on deck”? Certainly not waiting a year to step up and distribute some water. Your politics is blinding you to the reality that expecting people to use whatever resources are available in a crisis is not “racist” simply because the people happen to be white (or black) Puerto Ricans. Your hatred is astounding.

            Did I say “lazy and stupid”? Those are your words. I said they didn’t seem to care enough to … organize? Where are those stewards when you need them?

            Now, was FEMA perfect? Hardly. As part of a vast, bungling bureaucracy (that has a long and bungling history), perfection will elude it forever. If SOP is to contract out everything and manage nothing, expect more of the same. FEMA is to disasters and the UN is to world peace.

          2. baffling

            “Oh, those were just a bunch of racist southerners running around in boats. They’re not like the noble victims of PR who were overwhelmed by nature. Katrina was a mild breeze compared to what blew through PR.”

            glad you brought up the cajun navy bruce. they were a great source of help for new orleans. and fortunately, they hailed from western louisiana, you know, where the hurricane did NOT strike. and they were fortunate, since the only way into the new orleans area was via I10 from baton rouge-exactly where they were coming from. the cajun navy were heroes, but they were also not victims of the storm. outsiders coming to help. that was not as easy to accomplish on an isolated island in the caribbean.

  8. joseph

    Donald Trump today: “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000… ….This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!”

    Trump and Kopits are exactly in tune.

    Perhaps Senator Menendez had the best reply: “You’re right, Mr. President. The Hurricane didn’t kill 3,000 people. Your botched response did.”

    You know, it was sort of funny when the President showed the country his propensity for lying on the very first day of his administration when he insisted that the crowds that people could see at his inauguration with their own eyes were the biggest ever.

    But it’s not so funny when he is lying about the deaths of U.S. citizens. It’s all about his fragile ego. He is a narcissistic sociopath.

    (And what is with “I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico” — like he deserves praise for running some sort of charity TV telethon. That’s just weird.)

    1. pgl

      Trump sounds a lot like the Taliban in the after math of 9/11 (2001). “We criticize the criticism”. I bet the Taliban still denies that 3000 people died in New York City. And of course Trump’s incompetence did not lead to the death of 3000 white people – so no problem, I guess.

    2. pgl


      Top Republicans broke from Trump’s assessment. House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters he has “no reason to dispute those numbers. Casualties don’t make a person look bad, so I have no reason to dispute these numbers,” he said Thursday. “It was devastating. It was a horrible storm. I toured the entire island. It’s an isolated island that lost its infrastructure and power for a long time, you couldn’t get to people for a long time,” Ryan said. “I have no reason to dispute those numbers,” he added. “Those are just the facts of what happened.”

      That’s nice Mr. Speaker but why in hell has the House had no hearings on this matter. Paul Ryan – spineless as always!

  9. 2slugbaits

    “…you couldn’t get to people for a long time,” Ryan said. Which raises the obvious question whether or not people could have gotten to those infamous pallets of water. If you look at a map of PR, you’ll see that the pallets were positioned in about as remote and inaccessible a place as you could possibly find. Positioning those pallets made FEMA’s job of getting water to the island a lot easier, but it made everyone else’s job a lot harder. Moving those pallets would require almost 700 trucks traversing the one coastal road that connected San Juan to the airport. Was that feasible? If Paul Ryan’s account can be trusted, the it probably wasn’t feasible. And with all that effort those pallets would only have provided about 3 days worth of water.

    1. pgl

      “If Paul Ryan’s account can be trusted”

      Trust Paul Ryan? The serial liar misleads on the budget and even his marathon time. 4 hours and 2 minutes per the books but Ryan claimed he ran a sub 3 hour marathon. As a distance runner I find lying about your running PR is the lowest of the lows..

    2. baffling

      bruce has no clue what the aftermath of a natural disaster brings to a location. and good for him, i hope he never experiences such a disaster. but let me clue you in bruce, in order to distribute that water, you need lines of communication. you need roads and bridges that are not washed out. the roads need to be cleared of debris. you need trucks, and drivers for those trucks. those trucks need gasoline-something lacking in the aftermath of the disaster. outside assistance is required for each of these issues. sure the locals can help themselves, when they are not draining flood water from their own homes, repairing damage to homes, helping their neighbors, battling the summer heat, caring for the injured and sick, searching for food, etc. my guess is most of those folks would have loved to drive around in an air conditioned truck full of barrels of clean, potable water. they most definitely were not sitting around at home enjoying the air conditioning and watching cable television all day. before you blame the victims, perhaps consider their circumstances?

    3. Bruce Hall

      2slug, remoteness is a relative term on an island one-third the size of Massachusetts. Regardless, I’d guess there are at least 700 pickup trucks in PR that could have made the trip multiple times (think of that as PR’s version of the Cajun Navy). But maybe they felt it wasn’t worth their effort for a measly “3 days worth of water”.

      PR residents are at least nominally Catholic. Perhaps they should heed Ben Franklin’s advice: God helps those who help themselves.

      1. pgl

        “bruce has no clue what the aftermath of a natural disaster brings to a location.”

        Truer words have never been spoken. OK – you have zero empathy for those in need. We get it. Do not EVER come to a disaster ever as you are beyond useless.

      2. 2slugbaits

        Bruce Hall I’d guess there are at least 700 pickup trucks in PR

        I thought you said you had a logistics background. If you did, then you would have known that I was referring to 53 foot trailers, not pick-up trucks. Do the math. No, wait. I’ll do it for you. 20,000 pallets / 30 pallets per truck = 667 trucks. Are you sure that the ONE road connecting the pallets to the population centers was even open? If you can believe Paul Ryan, then apparently not. As to the Cajun Navy, those were row boats and they were dealing with a tiny fraction of the number of people in distress. How small of a fraction? About 2 percent. And they had almost 10 times as many helicopters supporting them as those in PR. As to Ben Franklin’s motto, that’s one that Trump takes to heart. He helps himself to just about everything.

        1. pgl

          Another good point. But remember Bruce Hall’s mind set. Puerto Ricans are too stupid and lazy to help themselves even with the right resources. I have heard other racists make this disgusting claim. Oh wait – Bruce insists he is not being racist. But he continues to make these dishonest and disgusting arguments.

        2. Bruce Hall

          pgl, those “rowboats” were credited with saving 10,000 people. But your hatred of self-reliance forces you to denigrate that effort. No, denigrated is not a racist word.

          As for “pickup” trucks… 700 pallets (one per truck) would have taken roughly a month to move the water. Gee, a month. No sense in doing that. Of course, it’s too bad that there were absolutely no larger trucks on the island. Or private helicopters. Or a “Rican Navy” to move the bottles to a more accessible location.

          Part of the reason that supplies didn’t get through was the clogged harbors and the naval base that no longer existed on the adjacent island. So the supplies went where they could be offloaded. http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/353193-puerto-rico-disaster-response-mired-in-gridlock

          But let’s blame it on Trump. That’s progressively so much easier.

          1. pgl

            “But let’s blame it on Trump.”

            Oh yes – blame it on those lazy Puerto Ricans! But no – you are not a racist! Snicker.

          2. 2slugbaits

            Bruce Hall Did you even read your link? It talks about an extreme fuel shortage and a shortage of trucks and truck drivers. It talks about how the roads were impassable. But yet you’re still peddling this pick-up trucks to the rescue story. The article hardly helps your case.

            Look, I don’t think Trump is responsible for all 3,000 of those deaths. The number was going to be huge even if we had a competent president in office. So I’m okay with giving him some slack for the first one or two months. But after that he seems to have lost interest and spent more effort with tax cuts for the rich than fixing PR. But my biggest gripe is that they guy refuses to admit the obvious. Even now Trump pretends that everything went great. No problems. Very few deaths. No one could have done better. The 3,000 deaths is just a Democratic plot to make him look bad. Blah, blah, blah. Are those the kinds of words that give you confidence that the man has learned anything? Trump is a helluva lot more interested in throwing refugees from Central American into concentration camps and breaking up families than he is in preparing for the next disaster. He spent more personal energy in protecting his Irish golf course from the sea than he has spent planning for the next disaster. If Maria happened again, do you really think Trump would have FEMA and DoD any better prepared than they were a year ago? Maybe the solution is to turn the entire island into one big Trump organization golf course with Trump hotels along the coast. That’s probably the only thing that would get his short attention span.

          3. Bruce Hall

            baffling, sure I read the link. The whole tempest in a teapot about the water is that it was sitting for a year. Fuel became available.

            Let’s face it. When a disaster hits, it’s going to be different from other disasters. Standard responses will go so far. Then things like clogged harbor, no nearby airfields, and a power wipeout come into play. People have to be prepared and if they are not it’s going to be very bad. People compare the hurricane that hit PR with the earthquake that ruined a portion of Haiti. Not comparable in scope or logistical obstacles.

            FEMA is the organization that needs to be prepared, not Trump. Obama’s 2017 budget cuts hit home, didn’t they (link provided previously)? The military sent a hospital ship and a lot of supplies, but without a staging area like the one that would have been available at the naval bombing range, the means to organize and distribute aid was limited.

            As I said previously, FEMA is and has been an inefficient bureaucracy, but it’s what you get as part of a large and inefficient government (waste abounds). Combine unique disasters with bureaucratic mucking and you’ll always have room for blame. Now conflating that with all of the other issues that you mentioned is simply throwing mud balls and seeing if anything sticks. Neither Trump’s personal businesses nor Border Patrol/ICE activities have anything to do with Puerto Ricans who are free to roam about the states. I’d expect better from you.

            As far as pgl is concerned, anyone who doesn’t register 10.0 on the Hate-Trump scale is automatically a racist, so I disregard those comments. Besides, Puerto Ricans aren’t a race (but don’t tell pgl because we don’t want hurt feelings). I have a niece married to a Puerto Rican. Nice guy, but geez he’s so lazy and stupid. 😉

          4. 2slugbaits

            Bruce Hall I think you were directing your comment to me, not baffling. As to the water still being there, the reports said that 700 pallets had been delivered, but the water smelled and tasted foul, so FEMA was supposed to test it. One lesson learned from the Iraq war was that bottled water sitting out in the sun in a hot climate is undrinkable after about 6 months.

            FEMA is and has been an inefficient bureaucracy, but it’s what you get as part of a large and inefficient government (waste abounds).

            In this case FEMA’s and the 404th Sustainment Brigade’s main role was to let contracts to private sector entities that did the actual logistical work. The inefficiency in that approach is captured in the famous phrase “Sorry, that task is not covered in your scope document.” It’s a recurring problem with the move towards privatizing government functions.

            FEMA is the organization that needs to be prepared, not Trump.

            But why would Trump believe FEMA needs to improve if Trump believes the Maria response was positively splendid. As I’ve said several times, I’m willing to cut Trump some slack on Maria…at least for the first weeks weeks after the hurricane hit. But what shouldn’t be forgiven is his refusal to admit that there isn’t significant room for improvement. He sees no reason for FEMA to improve because he’s told us many times how great the FEMA response was. Trump’s fragile ego is the problem.

            When a disaster hits, it’s going to be different from other disasters. Standard responses will go so far.

            You could say the same thing about military interventions, but that doesn’t stop us from planning and preparing for all kinds of contingencies. You don’t have to be a stable genius to believe Aug/Sep are hurricane months and that islands and coasts are vulnerable. But a president’s priorities are reflected in his budgets. And based on Trump’s OMB actions we know where is priorities are and where those priorities aren’t.

        1. 2slugbaits

          Worse. Where would they have gotten the diesel? And diesel was needed not just to fuel trucks, it was needed to fuel generators. And since FEMA and DoD never have enough generators, they always end up using HMMWVs and other tactical vehicles as portable generators. That’s why they kept having to increase the amps on HMMWV alternators during the Iraq War.

          And we know that more than 3 months after Hurricane Maria hit, less than 30 percent of the roads in PR were usable.

        2. Bruce Hall

          2slug, baffling, et al
          Sept, 2017:
          Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, told a Senate panel Wednesday that when she spoke with Puerto Rico’s governor at 1 p.m. Tuesday he had no unmet emergency needs. (was the governor ill-informed or was Ms. Duke lying?) The problem is getting supplies across the island cluttered with debris and landslides, she said.
          “First of all, we don’t know of fuel shortages on the island of Puerto Rico,” Duke told the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “The challenge for us today is getting it distributed.”

          A mountain of food, water and other vital supplies has arrived in Puerto Rico’s main Port of San Juan.
          But a shortage of truckers and the island’s devastated infrastructure are making it tough to move aid to where it’s needed most, officials say.
          At least 10,000 containers of supplies — including food, water and medicine — were sitting Thursday at the San Juan port, said Jose Ayala, the Crowley shipping company’s vice president in Puerto Rico.
          Part of the reason for the distribution backlog is that only 20% of truck drivers have reported back to work since Hurricane Maria swept through, according to a representative for Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

          San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, speaking to CNN about the logjam at the port, said she asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to allow municipalities to distribute goods themselves because “we can get the stuff where it needs to go.” She said she was told to write a memo about that. (We’ll do it ourselves… if our people show up)

          Oct. 2017:
          At a local command center, Edwin Soto Santiago, the mayor of this devastated mountain municipality of 9,500 people, was also waiting for food and water, even though nine pallets sent by the federal government sat at a regional distribution center an hour away. The only way for the mayor to get them was to send a truck down muddy, tree-strewn roads. A day earlier, Las Marías officials had missed their chance to pick up a fresh shipment, the mayor said, because nobody told them it had arrived. (all part of the Federal/PR governments’ emergency preparedness plans… which didn’t exist)

          April, 2018:
          Long said his agency also is coordinating a June 14 planning and training exercise with Puerto Rico’s government in which life-saving supplies will be delivered to the island’s 78 municipalities to ensure better response times for any upcoming storms. Cities and towns will be allowed to store those supplies for future disasters. (we never thought of that before… even with great Democratic Party presidents)
          Long stressed that Puerto Rico’s public and private sectors have to build a strong emergency response network and establish unified plans.
          “FEMA cannot be directly responsible for all of the response and recovery,” he said.
          He also said the private sector should ensure that communication systems become more resistant. Maria left nearly all of Puerto Rico without phone service after the Category 4 storm hit on Sept. 20.
          Long defended his agency from ongoing criticism that it did not respond quickly enough to the hurricane or dedicate the same amount of resources compared with other natural disasters in the U.S. mainland.
          ″(That’s) completely false,” he said, adding that in the first six months since Maria hit, FEMA invested $10 billion in Puerto Rico, in contrast to the $6 billion invested in the six months after Hurricane Katrina.
          (yes, but Trump should have spent $100 billion instead of playing golf… )
          He said his agency is working to reduce bureaucracy but needs to ensure that federal funds will be spent appropriately.
          “Recovery never moves as fast as people want it to be,” he said. “And in this case, moving faster can be detrimental from the standpoint of putting this money to work in a manner that truly makes Puerto Rico stronger and more resilient.”

          May, 2018
          Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Roselló vowed on Thursday to respond to future hurricanes “in a more effective manner,” as the U.S. territory continues to recover from two storms that devastated the island last year.
          In a news conference, Roselló said that Puerto Rico’s government had updated its protocols for responding to hurricanes, according to BuzzFeed News. He also announced a partnership between the island’s tourism corporation and AirBnB.
          “It’s important that the public knows that the government is prepared
          (maybe… next time) and that we have updated these protocols that we’ve been working on, and with FEMA, to be able to increase our capacity to face the next hurricane,” he said, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “We are ready to respond in a more effective manner.” (None of this would have happened if Hillary was president)

          1. 2slugbaits

            Bruce Hall Those links don’t exactly help your case. Being unable to distribute fuel is a fuel shortage. With the island being cluttered with debris, that’s exactly why recommending some PR version of the Cajun Navy with pick-up trucks was a ridiculous idea. Anybody with a television set could see that you first unload equipment to clear the mess so that supplies can be distributed. You don’t dump the Class I and Class IV supplies first and then bring in the equipment afterwards. Every military logistics plan I’ve ever seen rolls off the Class II and Class VII stuff first. I thought you said you had logistics experience. What the hell kind of logistics models did you use? That’s why I told CoRev that FEMA should start thinking in terms of the prepo APS-3 model that DoD uses for military contingencies. Instead, the Trump plan was to rely upon FEMA (which was never equipped to handle big emergencies) and LOGCAP civilian contractors hired by the 404th Sustainment Brigade out of Ft. Lewis, WA. With warming oceans we should expect to see these kinds of events happen a lot more often, just as we now see “500 year” floods happening about once a decade. FEMA needs to recognize that, but it’s an uphill battle with Trump just because of who he is.

            Look, the big point I’ve made several times is that everyone except Trump recognizes that the relief effort was a disaster. Plenty of blame to go around. The only one who doesn’t accept any blame and thinks it all went just super duper swell is Trump. Trump doesn’t believe there are any lessons to be learned except that everything he does is just bigly great. And Fox Noise is just enabling his solipsism.

          2. Bruce Hall

            2slug, you have to be able to 1) get the appropriate equipment, 2) transport the appropriate equipment, and 3) stage the appropriate equipment and 4) prioritize the use of the appropriate equipment.

            Had the Puerto Ricans not forced the shutdown of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station that supported operations at Vieques Island, there would have been a facility capable of the critical step 3 which would have included offloading of heavy equipment and fuel. Without that, PR had to rely on its main harbor which was jammed (link previously provided) and use local truckers who were absent (link previously provided).

            The only other way to stage such equipment would have been to helicopter it in directly from ships which really wasn’t feasible with the Chinook capacity at 13 tons… a bulldozer can weigh several times that. But, you’re correct… in hindsight… that much could have been done differently with regard to planning and execution… well before a major disaster. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen at the federal, commonwealth, or local levels. So they were pretty much stuck with a single point of entry that was unusable with resources that were unavailable.

          3. baffling

            “Had the Puerto Ricans not forced the shutdown of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station that supported operations”
            what makes you think this would have been in any better condition than the port in san juan? this was in the direct path of the hurricane before it weakened by crossing the mountains of puerto rico. this is a very poor assumption on your part bruce. stop blaming the victims with very poor excuses.

          4. 2slugbaits

            Bruce Hall Had the Puerto Ricans not forced the shutdown of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station that supported operations at Vieques Island,

            A couple of strange things about that statement. The first is that the Puerto Ricans did not force the shutdown of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station as such, they only forced the Navy to quit using it for bombing practice. Puerto Rico intended to convert it to a commercial airport, so the infrastructure was still there. And the Reserve component attached to the Naval Station was still ongoing. It was not a ghost town. The other weird thing is that the tarmac at Roosevelt Roads is where all those bottles of water were delivered. Presumably FEMA used the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station to deliver pallets of water bottles, but there they sat. If you want to blame the governor and mayor for not coming to get the water (assuming that was even possible), then fine. But that’s hardly a reason why Trump shouldn’t have told FEMA to make sure those bottles got delivered irrespective of whether or not the state and local governments did so. Being president means you do more than just give it a lick and a promise.

            BTW, the 13 ton Chinook is the CH-47D model. There are no more “D” models in the Army inventory. They’ve all been replaced by the “F” model. The “F” model has the new Honeywell engines, which allows for greater speed and altitude (a lesson learned in Afghanistan), but less payload capacity.

    4. pgl

      “If you look at a map of PR, you’ll see that the pallets were positioned in about as remote and inaccessible a place as you could possibly find.”

      A very good point. But according to Bruce Hall and Steven K., this too was the fault of those lazy and stupid Hispanic victims. As pathetic as Trump has been today – even he is not as disgusting as the Usual Suspects here.

  10. baffling

    in fema’s defense, they were probably waiting for trump to return and toss the bottles of water to the people of puerto rico.

  11. pgl

    September 13, 2018 at 1:38 pm
    Pgl, again adds no value by claiming the Delenda Plan was actionable”

    followed by some testimony that shows CoRev really is clueless. Yes the plan as presented in 1/25/2001 may have needed some work. That was the damn point of Clark’s memo. Rice ignored him. When asked about this other high level military personal noted that the only one in the Bush government working on this was Clark as the rest of Team Bush continued to ignore Al Qaeda.

    I have to wonder if any of this even sinks into CoRev’s head. If so, he is being really dishonest in his zest to defend a Republican. Pity. Then again maybe CoRev thinks that the United States of America is as incompetent as CoRev wants to portray us. We are not incompetent but we did have an incompetent National Security Adviser at the time.

    1. pgl

      It is interesting that CoRev cherry picked one snipnet of Slade Gorton’s (Republican) questions to Richard Clarke followed by the usual dishonest excuses from Condi Rice. Philip Shenon wrote a must read of the 9/11 Commission investigation:


      Now if CoRev has read this – expect him to misrepresent what this book says too.

      It is amazing how incompetency from Republican White Houses is so easily excused by their minions.

      1. CoRev

        Pgl, says: “followed by some testimony …” which was from his own referenced link.. You’d think commenters providing references would read them. But, no, we’re talking about pgl, and that shows pgl really is clueless.

        Remembr his reference and response was to show ACTIONABLE intel, and how does he clarify? “Yes the plan as presented in 1/25/2001 may have needed some work.” Needed some work to pgl is action.

        What a Kazoo.

        1. pgl

          “Remembr his reference and response was to show ACTIONABLE intel”

          The plan Clarke gave Rice on 1/25/2001 was the same plan Rice gave Bush 8 months later. And when we took action a month later, the plan worked to perfection. But CoRev thinks he is cute with his clever little excuses for waiting 8 months. The 3000 people who died on 9/11 would not think you are so cute CoRev.

  12. pgl

    September 13, 2018 at 1:52 pm
    PGL, you have yet to show any evidence of FEMA’s utter failure in handling Maria.”

    3000 people died but that’s not evidence I guess. Oh wait – 3000 Hispanics died. I see – then the evidence does not matter.

    1. CoRev

      Pgl, FEMA was operating under an Obama budget request. That makes 3,000 deaths Obama’s fault. BTW, global Temperatures went up during Obama’s presidency and down under Trump’s, that makes Harvey Irma and Maria Obama’s fault.

      1. pgl

        CoRev keeps blaming Obama for allegedly slashing FEMA’s budget. Of course CoRev has no clue what he is babbling about. Even though Chris Edwards is a right wing lunatic who wants to downsize FEMA – at least he knows the history of FEMA’s budget:


        “The figure below shows real, or inflation-adjusted, spending on FEMA since 1970. (FEMA was created in 1979, but federal budget figures include spending on predecessor agencies). Put aside the mid-2000s spike from Katrina, and you can see that FEMA spending has trended strongly upwards. FEMA spending averaged $1 billion a year in the 1980s, $3 billion a year in the 1990s, and more than $10 billion a year recently.”

        Notice the graph that shows how volatile the budget is – when things like Katrina hits, FEMA gets more money. Surprise, surprise, surprise. In 2016 we had not had the triple whammy of 2017. After the triple whammy of 2017 – one would think Trump would want more FEMA spending but he proposed even more cuts.

        Of course do not expect CoRev to get any of this. He is not paid by his political masters to get the facts right.

        1. pgl

          BTW – CoRev keeps posting his dishonest claim that Obama’s FEMA budget caused the 3000 deaths in Puerto Rico. No links just his usual hyperbole.

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