Hot Air

I try to make the Sunday article about the biggest political story of the previous week. It is Thursday morning and I’m waiting to see what Hurricane Florence has in store for the metro Raleigh area. I may be operating from a somewhat provincial position but I think the biggest story will be Florence and that is the core of today’s article. Let’s explore.  

It is Thursday morning as I pen this and we are in the literal calm before the storm. It’s warm, but not too hot. It’s somewhat cloudy but not really overcast. Commuting to and from my very early morning appointment I experienced an episode or two of extremely light mist but certainly no real rain. Having lived through previous hurricanes I know we literally, “Ain’t seen nothing yet”.

The first forecasts worth paying serious attention to showed Florence making landfall and then heading straight for the Raleigh-Durham area. It was going to bring high winds and tremendous rainfall. I was concerned.

I tend to think in terms of all things being political. I looked at the job the Trump administration did in red Texas and purple Florida. Like purple North Carolina he carried them in 2016. They are part of the contiguous 48 and have large white populations. I relaxed a bit.

On Tuesday Trump said the recovery effort in Puerto Rico was, “An incredible, unsung success.” I was scared.

Wednesday morning I awoke to the news that the storm was expected to track further south than previously predicted. One of my human flaws is that when it comes to things like hurricanes I become somewhat of a NIMBY person. I don’t wish bad luck on anyone; but most particularly myself. Flooding and power loss are still very real possibilities; time will tell.

Over Tuesday and Wednesday news outlets began to report that about $40 million had been transferred from FEMA and the Coast Guard to ICE. I feel this is only part of what will be a larger (in dollars) story. The reason ICE needed the funds is to finance Trump’s family separation policy. That policy is not only immoral and unnecessary it may well be illegal under international law and treaty. What Trump is doing is taking money from organizations charged with helping American victims of natural disasters and using it to fund a mission to terrorize refugees. In a sense Trump has turned the federal government into an international terrorist organization.

A lead article in Thursday morning’s Washington Post was entitled “President Trump made more than 5,000 false or misleading claims”. Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly shared the byline. Mr. Kessler is America’s premier fact checker and is reluctant to use the word “lie”; I’m not.

In the article, the day September 7, 2018 was documented. Trump awoke in Billings, Montana then flew to Fargo, North Dakota and finally on to Washington, DC. During his various appearances and interviews that day he told 125 lies; the day before he “warmed up” mainly in Billings with 74 lies. For his presidency Trump is averaging 8.3 lies per day.

(It’s time for me to be sarcastic, but unfortunately accurate.) Being an old basketball coach I know all about double digit averages and I think Trump easily has the “talent” to get into double digits. He has “improved his game” as time has gone on. During his first 100 days he was only averaging 4.9 lies per day. On his 601st day in office he hit the 5,000 mark and was averaging 8.3. Between September 5th and 12th he is averaging 32 lies per day. I don’t think it will be long before he is in double digits.

Last hurricane season the Trump administration had four hurricanes of significance to deal with. In all honesty they did a pretty good job in Texas and Florida. Puerto Rico was hit by two almost back to back and the federal government’s performance there was very different. The first hurricane was almost ignored and it took six days before they even took the damage created by the second (Maria) seriously. I am among those who have been accused of cynicism but feel that the facts that Puerto Ricans are neither white nor are able to vote in Presidential elections were major factors.

For months the official government death toll from Hurricane Maria was 64. A few weeks ago the Puerto Rican government updated it to a more realistic 2,975. Despite the more favorable (for me) weather forecast and the other “favorable” factors; if Trump thinks approximately 3,000 dead Americans is a great job maybe it’s time to get petrified. In fact he basically has said that the 2,975 figure is fake news created by the Democrats. Life must be wonderful in the Donald Dome.

Baloney, malarkey, lies, what comes out of the backside of a bull, hot air or whatever you choose to call it Trump has a lot of it and America is suffering in the process. I’m not sure which to fear more; Florence’s hot air or Trump’s.

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