Thursday Open Thread | An Update on Puerto Rico

I have been saying that this Administration is trying, through their deliberate neglect..

They are trying to kill these American Citizens.

First, it was the non-response to the pain and needs of those in Puerto Rico.
Then, there was the sketchy $300 million dollar contract given to a company completely unqualified to restore the power of Puerto Rico.
Then came the persistent incompetence of FEMA when it came to Puerto Rico.

Now, we find out about this new fraudulent contract.

FEMA Contract Called for 30 Million Meals for Puerto Ricans. 50,000 Were Delivered.
By PATRICIA MAZZEI and AGUSTIN ARMENDARIZ
FEB. 6, 2018

The mission for the Federal Emergency Management Agency was clear: Hurricane Maria had torn through Puerto Rico, and hungry people needed food. Thirty million meals needed to be delivered as soon as possible.

For this huge task, FEMA tapped Tiffany Brown, an Atlanta entrepreneur with no experience in large-scale disaster relief and at least five canceled government contracts in her past. FEMA awarded her $156 million for the job, and Ms. Brown, who is the sole owner and employee of her company, Tribute Contracting LLC, set out to find some help.

Ms. Brown, who is adept at navigating the federal contracting system, hired a wedding caterer in Atlanta with a staff of 11 to freeze-dry wild mushrooms and rice, chicken and rice, and vegetable soup. She found a nonprofit in Texas that had shipped food aid overseas and domestically, including to a Houston food bank after Hurricane Harvey.

By the time 18.5 million meals were due, Tribute had delivered only 50,000. And FEMA inspectors discovered a problem: The food had been packaged separately from the pouches used to heat them. FEMA’s solicitation required “self-heating meals.”

……………………………………….

Four months after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, a picture is emerging of the contracts awarded in the earliest days of the crisis. And examples like the Tribute contract are causing lawmakers to raise questions about FEMA’s handling of the disaster and whether the agency was adequately prepared to respond.

On Tuesday, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, which has been investigating the contract, asked Representative Trey Gowdy, the committee chairman, to subpoena FEMA for all documents relating to the agreement. Lawmakers fear the agency is not lining up potential contractors in advance of natural disasters, leading it to scramble to award multimillion-dollar agreements in the middle of a crisis.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a bipartisan congressional investigation found that a failure to secure advance contracts led to chaos and potential for waste and fraud. Democrats asserted that FEMA was similarly inept preparing for this storm.

“It appears that the Trump Administration’s response to the hurricanes in Puerto Rico in 2017 suffered from the same flaws as the Bush Administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005,” wrote Representatives Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland and Stacey E. Plaskett, the nonvoting delegate from the United States Virgin Islands.

…………………

In November, The Associated Press found that after Hurricane Maria, FEMA awarded more than $30 million in contracts for emergency tarps and plastic sheeting to a company that never delivered the needed supplies.

FEMA insists no Puerto Ricans missed a meal as a result of the failed agreement with Tribute. FEMA relied on other suppliers that provided “ample” food and water for distribution, said William Booher, an agency spokesman.

If they didn’t miss a meal, it’s because of Chef Jose Andres and his teams of chefs, who found a way, out of no way, to feed the people of Puerto Rico – in the cities, in the countryside, up in the mountains….if a Puerto Rican was hungry, there was Chef Jose Andres and his team. But, because of the thin-skin of Dolt45, the guy who SHOULD have gotten the contract didn’t, and someone completely unqualified did.

They are trying to kill these American Citizens.

Check the bank accounts of those involved.

And, ICYMI:

Shoulda been checked the bank account of that Governor – he’s no damn good.

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55 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | An Update on Puerto Rico

  1. Liked by 1 person

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  6. Ametia says:

    MAGA!!!!!

    Dow plunges more than 1,000 points as volatility grips markets
    The specter of rising interest rates set investors on edge, pitching the Dow Jones industrial average deeper into the red Thursday. The technology-heavy Nasdaq and the broad Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index also gave up more ground.
    All major U.S. sectors were down Thursday, with real estate and financials leading the dive, signaling growing unease about interest rates and the prospect of higher inflation.

    ALSO TOO

    Liked by 2 people

    • Liza says:

      Yeah, -1,032.89 on the Dow.

      The “analysts” are saying it’s rising interest rates but, IMHO, it’s more of a correction to the “irrational exuberance” in the market that preceded the GOP tax giveaway to corporations.

      Liked by 1 person

    • dannie22 says:

      Hey! Im in Minnesota! Im freezing to death lol!! But they make some broasted chicken here that is so good!!

      Like

  7. Liza says:

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ametia says:

    Like

  9. rikyrah says:

    The Plum Line Opinion
    Republicans want to turn the entire country into Oklahoma
    By Paul Waldman February 8 at 1:26 PM

    ………………………………………………………………..

    Like many states controlled by Republicans, Oklahoma has for some time been putting the GOP theory into practice: low taxes, little regulation and weak social spending. On the tax front, it has been particularly aggressive, since state law mandates that no tax increase can pass without a three-quarters majority in the state legislature. This has created a one-way ratchet, in which any tax cut is effectively permanent and taxes can only go down.

    And has it produced the boundless prosperity Republicans predict? Well, no. In fact, the state is now in a full-blown fiscal crisis. Here’s a summary of the situation from NPR:

    Riding high on the oil boom of the late 2000s, the state followed the Kansas model and slashed taxes. But the promised prosperity never came. In many cases, it was just the opposite.

    Around 20 percent of Oklahoma’s schools now hold classes just four days a week. Last year, highway patrol officers were given a mileage limit because the state couldn’t afford to put gas in their tanks. Medicaid provider rates have been cut to the point that rural nursing homes and hospitals are closing, and the prisons are so full that the director of corrections says they’re on the brink of a crisis.

    Just to reiterate: The state has so little money that 1 in 5 schools is open only four days a week. Gov. Mary Fallin and Republicans in the state legislature are debating a plan to increase taxes to try to address some of these problems, including giving a raise to teachers. Which is sorely needed, because Oklahoma pays its teachers less than any other state in the country.

    That’s not to mention the other problems the state could be addressing, but isn’t. For instance, like many Republican states, Oklahoma refused to accept the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, and partly as a result it ranks eighth on the list of states with the highest proportion of its population without health insurance.

    So if you suddenly became governor of a state somewhere, would you say, “We really need to duplicate what they did in Oklahoma”? Before you answer, consider that Oklahoma ranks 43rd in household income. And if you look at that list, you’ll find that of the top 10 states with the highest income, seven are strong Democratic states, two are states where Democrats and Republicans share power (Virginia and New Hampshire), and only one, Alaska, could be described as a red state. At the other end, nine of the 10 poorest states are Republican-controlled (New Mexico is the exception), where somehow their genius governing model has failed to produce the results they predict.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Liza says:

    I was thinking he should be appointed to the Supreme Court.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Revolutionary Power Of Black Panther

    Marvel’s new movie marks a major milestone

    By JAMIL SMITH

    ………………………….

    This is one of the many reasons Black Panther is significant. What seems like just another entry in an endless parade of super­hero movies is actually something much bigger. It hasn’t even hit theaters yet and its cultural footprint is already enormous. It’s a movie about what it means to be black in both America and Africa—and, more broadly, in the world. Rather than dodge complicated themes about race and identity, the film grapples head-on with the issues affecting modern-day black life. It is also incredibly entertaining, filled with timely comedy, sharply choreographed action and gorgeously lit people of all colors. “You have superhero films that are gritty dramas or action comedies,” director Ryan Coogler tells TIME. But this movie, he says, tackles another important genre: “Superhero films that deal with issues of being of African descent.”

    ………………

    Black Panther is the 18th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a franchise that has made $13.5 billion at the global box office over the past 10 years. (Marvel is owned by Disney.) It may be the first mega­budget movie—not just about superheroes, but about anyone—to have an African-American director and a predominantly black cast. Hollywood has never produced a blockbuster this splendidly black.

    The movie, out Feb. 16, comes as the entertain­ment industry is wrestling with its toxic treatment of women and persons of color. This rapidly expanding reckoning—one that reflects the importance of representation in our culture—is long overdue. Black Panther is poised to prove to Hollywood that African-American narratives have the power to generate profits from all audiences. And, more important, that making movies about black lives is part of showing that they matter.

    The invitation to the Black Panther premiere read “Royal attire requested.” Yet no one showed up to the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard on Jan. 29 looking like an extra from a British costume drama. On display instead were crowns of a different sort—ascending head wraps made of various African fabrics. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o wore her natural hair tightly wrapped above a resplendent bejeweled purple gown. Men, including star Chadwick Boseman and Coogler, wore Afrocentric patterns and clothing, dashikis and boubous. Co-star Daniel Kaluuya, an Oscar nominee for his star turn in Get Out, arrived wearing a kanzu, the formal tunic of his Ugandan ancestry.

    After the Obama era, perhaps none of this should feel groundbreaking. But it does. In the midst of a regressive cultural and political moment fueled in part by the white-nativist movement, the very existence of Black Panther feels like resistance. Its themes challenge institutional bias, its characters take unsubtle digs at oppressors, and its narrative includes prismatic perspectives on black life and tradition. The fact that Black Panther is excellent only helps.

    ………………………..

    Back when the film was announced, in 2014, nobody knew that it would be released into the fraught climate of President Trump’s America—where a thriving black future seems more difficult to see. Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville chaos last summer equated those protesting racism with violent neo-Nazis defending a statue honoring a Confederate general. Immigrants from Mexico, Central America and predominantly Muslim countries are some of the President’s most frequent scapegoats. So what does it mean to see this film, a vision of unmitigated black excellence, in a moment when the Commander in Chief reportedly, in a recent meeting, dismissed the 54 nations of Africa as “sh-thole countries”?

    As is typical of the climate we’re in, Black Panther is already running into its share of trolls—including a Facebook group that sought, unsuccessfully, to flood the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes with negative ratings of the film. That Black Panther signifies a threat to some is unsurprising. A fictional African King with the technological war power to destroy you—or, worse, the wealth to buy your land—may not please someone who just wants to consume the latest Marvel chapter without deeper political consideration. Black Panther is emblematic of the most productive responses to bigotry: rather than going for hearts and minds of racists, it celebrates what those who choose to prohibit equal representation and rights are ignoring, willfully or not. They are missing out on the full possibility of the world and the very America they seek to make “great.” They cannot stop this representation of it. When considering the folks who preemptively hate Black Panther and seek to stop it from influencing American culture, I echo the response that the movie’s hero T’Challa is known to give when warned of those who seek to invade his home country: Let them try.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Ametia says:

    Seven Seconds | Clip: He Might Know Something | Netflix

    Like

  13. Liked by 2 people

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  17. Liked by 2 people

  18. Ametia says:

    Songwriter finally gets her due for penning We Shall Overcome
    By: Mark Curnutte
    Updated: Feb 6, 2018 – 12:37 PM

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/black-history-month/songwriter-finally-gets-her-due-for-penning-we-shall-overcome/695254174

    Liked by 1 person

  19. rikyrah says:

    Devumi and Me: Bernie Sanders’ Unexplained Connection to a Shady Media Company

    On October 23rd of this past year, I published an article on Bernie Sanders’ social media presence on Twitter. The crux of the article was the simple, undeniable fact that a large portion of Sanders’ followers on Twitter were, in fact, bots. This wasn’t a conjecture on my part but rather was done via a free website called TwitterAudit that runs algorithms on samples of 5,000 followers to determine their validity. Based on this simple search, it was determined that 61%, or roughly 4.9 million of Bernie Sanders’ followers were fake, giving him one of the worst ratios of any celebrity, media personnel, or politician on Twitter. My essay called into question whether the senator knew of this and, if so, why didn’t he take any steps to remove his fake followers when it was something that could have been done very easily through a simple, uncumbersome process.

    This past week may have provided us an answer to that question.

    Last Saturday, The New York Times published an article on a social media company called Devumi, which specializes in the artificial inflation of Twitter followers for celebrities, athletes, pundits, and yes, politicians. By creating fake profiles attached with real photos, Devumi has been able to create as many as 48 million fake users, roughly 15% of the entire Twitterverse. Devumi’s nearly 200,000 person clientele include these aforementioned attention-seekers but can also include those buying followers’ on others behalf. Of the three kinds of bots most prevalent on Twitter, the one that most would benefit these clients would be amplification bots, those that retweet information or articles about the client in question. These bots would then retweet another series of bots and so on and so on until that article was being spread far and wide over Twitter. By doing this, clients of Devumi could easily expand their influence on social media by spreading the narrative they wanted to be most available to the Twitterverse.

    In the week since the article posted, I decided to revisit the Twitter Audit feature to reassess Senator Sanders’ social media presence. As of today, Sanders’ Twitter profile now has a 61% authenticity rating, an increase of 22% from mid-October. In addition, the number of fake followers from Sanders’ account has decreased from 4.9 million in October to 3.4 million today. For those keeping score at home, that represents 1.5 million fake followers that just so happened to disappear from Bernie Sanders’ Twitter account at exactly the same time as The New York Times article came out regarding the fake purchasing of Twitter profiles by Devumi customers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liza says:

      Interesting.

      Bernie Sanders would certainly not be managing his own social media accounts. I suspect he could say with considerable credibility that he was not aware of fake followers.

      This takedown of Bernie Sanders in social media is difficult for me to understand. I follow Bernie on both Facebook and Twitter. I follow a number of politicians and troll a few others that I refuse to follow (ex: Martha McSally).

      Right now, Bernie’s people do social media better than any other politician I’m aware of. That is, if your goal is to be informed, Bernie is the one to follow. Arguably, like any other politician, his posts reflect his agenda (ex: single payer healthcare), but that’s what politicians do. His videos are generally excellent.

      Remember that mainstream media treated Bernie as though he didn’t exist throughout the 2016 election. They were mostly focused on the Birther King, his every word, and Hillary’s emails. Bernie’s campaign existed predominantly in social media and did amazingly well despite having no msm coverage. This is the model that many candidates are going to have to follow given the exorbitant cost of 21st century political campaigns.

      Bernie’s 2016 campaign should be viewed more as a model, not as something to criticize at a time when we can ill afford to fracture the Trump resistance. And those tens of thousands of people who showed up for his rallies were not bots.

      I know he’s not a Democrat. But Bernie Sanders is certainly not the enemy.

      Like

  20. rikyrah says:

    Rob Porter controversy is ‘going to be hard to explain away’
    02/08/18 10:04 AM
    By Steve Benen

    At first blush, yesterday’s developments at the White House may have seemed relatively straightforward. Staff secretary Rob Porter, facing allegations that he was physically abusive toward both of his ex-wives, announced his resignation, even while insisting the claims are untrue.
    But if you watched last night’s show, you know there’s more to this one. Indeed, Rachel explained that this is a story that’s “going to be hard to explain away.”

    In his capacity as the staff secretary in the West Wing, Porter was an Oval Office gatekeeper, responsible for, among thing, screening every document that reached the president’s desk. That meant Porter needed a security clearance, which required an FBI background check.

    The Washington Post reported that the FBI spoke to both of his ex-wives, Colbie Holderness and Jennie Willoughby, who relayed their alleged experiences with Porter.

    Willoughby and Holderness said they talked to the FBI about Porter twice last year, once in late January and then again months later. Willoughby provided the contact information for the FBI agent she spoke with, who declined to comment when reached Wednesday. Holderness said that when the FBI asked her whether Porter was vulnerable to blackmail, she answered affirmatively, because of the number of people aware of his abusive behavior.

    “I thought by sharing my story with the FBI he wouldn’t be put in that post,” Holderness said.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. rikyrah says:

    LarryO’s Opening Segment from Last Night:

    THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O’DONNELL 2/7/18
    Lawrence: Why one punch wasn’t enough for John Kelly
    The White House and Chief of Staff John Kelly defended Trump aide Rob Porter even after ex-wives accused Porter of domestic abuse, using photo evidence in one case, before changing course late Wednesday. Lawrence O’Donnell asks why the W.H. and Kelly took so long?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. rikyrah says:

    Applications are now open for the Obama Foundation Summer 2018 Internship—an opportunity for students to work closely with our team to support our mission. Apply here, or share this link with a friend: https://t.co/QOq4Pe4Kiv pic.twitter.com/VLMRE33O8Q

    — The Obama Foundation (@ObamaFoundation) February 6, 2018

    Liked by 1 person

  23. rikyrah says:

    WBEZ’s “Making Obama” podcast examines the former president’s life before the White House, and the role Chicago played getting him there https://t.co/8iLWjAlPqb pic.twitter.com/jc60VBE6D6

    — Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) February 7, 2018

    Liked by 1 person

  24. rikyrah says:

    Hamilton 68 has been tracking Russian bots/influence networks now for six months straight — I sat down with their team to discuss how bot activity has evolved. Here’s what they’ve noticed: https://t.co/pk2BqS7DZH

    — Tim Mak (@timkmak) February 8, 2018

    Like

  25. rikyrah says:

    Republican sabotage efforts fail to derail ‘Obamacare’ enrollment
    02/08/18 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen
    As regular readers know, Donald Trump’s efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act’s open-enrollment period were hardly subtle. The administration cut the enrollment window for consumers in half, curtailed outreach programs, and dramatically scaled back advertising campaigns.

    Making matters worse, the president himself kept telling the public that the law is “dead,” while taking policy steps that forced premiums higher. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently published a list tracking each of the actions Trump World has taken to “sabotage the ACA by destabilizing private insurance markets or reversing the law’s historic gains in health coverage” – and the list wasn’t short.

    But if the Republican White House hoped this year’s ACA enrollment period would kill off “Obamacare,” it’s going to be disappointed.

    About 11.8 million people signed up for an insurance plan through Obamacare in the 2018 enrollment period, according to a new report, a small 3.7 percent drop from the 12.2 million who enrolled in 2017.

    The new data was released Wednesday by the nonpartisan National Academy for State Health Policy, which researches health care issues.

    Like

  26. rikyrah says:

    Spousal abuse accusations emerge as theme in Trump White House

    Rachel Maddow reviews the history of domestic violence accusations against members of the Trump White House, including today’s revelations of multiple accusations against White House staff secretary Rob Porter.
    Feb.07.2018

    Like

  27. rikyrah says:

    Holder: Indicting a president not settled law

    Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder talks with Rachel Maddow about whether Donald Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice, and the failure of Jeff Sessions to stand up for DoJ and FBI employees under attack but Donald Trump and his supporters.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. rikyrah says:

    Democrats aim to make 2018 wave count

    Eric Holder, former U.S. attorney general and chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about working against Republican gerrymandering to re-balance voting districts so that Democratic victories mean proportionate Democratic representation.
    Feb.07.2018

    Like

  29. rikyrah says:

    Pelosi makes a stand for DACA recipients

    Rachel Maddow reports on Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s record-setting time holding the House floor, speaking for over eight hours in support of a legislative solution to the plight of DACA recipients.
    Feb.07.2018

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Liza says:

    Liked by 2 people

    • Liza says:

      “Black Panther is emblematic of the most productive responses to bigotry: rather than going for hearts and minds of racists, it celebrates what those who choose to prohibit equal representation and rights are ignoring, willfully or not. They are missing out on the full possibility of the world and the very America they seek to make “great.” They cannot stop this representation of it. When considering the folks who preemptively hate Black Panther and seek to stop it from influencing American culture, I echo the response that the movie’s hero T’Challa is known to give when warned of those who seek to invade his home country: Let them try.”

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Liza says:

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Liked by 1 person

  33. Like

  34. rikyrah says:

    So, Kelly knew that the wife beater was a wife beater and gave him a promotion😠😠

    Like

  35. rikyrah says:

    Countdown Clock ⏰⏰:
    Eight Days Until WAKANDA 😎😎🙌🙌

    Liked by 2 people

  36. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😄😄😄

    Liked by 1 person

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