Beltway Insider: Trump/Hurricane Recovery; HHS Resigns/Homeland Still Vacant; Fake News; S.I. Newhouse

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President Donald Trump took on Puerto Rico's Mayor Carmen Yulin accusing the politician who is seeking financial assistance from the United States to assist in the recovery efforts of the obliterated island nation of poor leadership.

According to Gallup, President Trump job approval, over the past week, decreased by two percentage points to 40% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased four percentage points to 54%.

Trump Mocks Puerto Rico Hurricane Devastation

President Trump took to twitter this week to publically shame San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, stop the increasing glare of the inadequate administration response and redirect the public's attention to domestic issues which his administration has a stronger foothold.

On Friday, September 29, the President said during a press gaggle when asked about Puerto Rico, "A big question is, what happens? We have to rebuild -- I mean, if you look at it, the electric is gone, the roads are gone, the telecommunications is gone. It's all gone. And the real question is, what's going to happen later? It's a tough situation. The loss of life, it's always tragic. But it's been incredible the results that we've had with respect to loss of life. People can't believe how successful that has been, relatively speaking."

One day later, Saturday the President used the micro messaging platform 18 times drilling into to the public's perception the San Juan Mayor "and others are exhibiting poor leadership" is exhibiting poor leadership and reinforcing his decision by 18 tweets.

"Such poor leadership ability by the mayor of San Juan and others in Puerto Rico who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort," the president tweeted.

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He did offer praise for "the military and first responders, despite no electric, roads, phones, etc., have done an amazing job. Puerto Rico was totally destroyed."

He also tweeted, 10,000 Federal workers now on island doing a fantastic job." On the off chance the world doesn't "get it." Those 10,000 workers aren't looking for their families, attempting to find missing relatives, wondering how they will survive, how will they rebuild, with what? Yes. The 10,000 federal workers are doing a great job and they return to their barracks and are supported financially and physically by the United States government.

If they need medical care, a military doctor and team are prepared to handle any emergency, if they need a tetanus shot, which every Puerto Rican, all 3.4million need now, they can walk to sick bay and receive it. If they need water it is there. The families in Puerto Rico, need empathy, not hate messaging meant to silence the voice who stands for her people.

The President's response to the shocking devastation and human suffering, of a nation that is under consideration for Statehood, was cruel, callous, lacking genuine concern and empathy.

Moreover, it reflects a deep seated racist mentality that allows him to "feel" or show empathy for those affected by Hurricanes that pummeled the continental United States, and for territories bearing the stars and stripes, dismal and destructive

Shock, Unbelievable Devastation

By all accounts, even the President has said, Puerto Rico was wiped out. The devastation was even more widespread and total than originally thought.

In total, few structures are left standing, most have some structural damage. The size of the storm nearly guarantees a particular set of destructive parameters will be the aftermath. Puerto Rico is living this out.

Americans, living in the continental United States, are just now seeing the need. Media, and celebrities have brought the annihilation to the forefront. It is as if a bomb had been dropped in your backyard and wiped out twelve neighborhoods and this type of devastation is in every neighborhood, every city, every town, every inch of the island is facing this same level of damage.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, is faced with the responsibility of nearly 500,000 year-round residents who elected her to office. Today, she is facing criticism from the leader of the free world, the most powerful nation in the world, for her desperate cries of assistance.  

The Hurricane showed no mercy the entire island of 3.4million residents, the elderly, the young, the newborn, across the entire island need assistance.

Asking Yulin Cruz to be a bit more patient or possibility penetrating the nation on a deeper level staging supply drops outside of the circumference of military landing areas and ports would be the proper decorum one would expect from the sitting President of the United States instead of the scrappy bully looking for the rope-a-dope knock out.

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The airport in San Juan is open with thousands hoping to secure passage on a handful of flights that were originally offered with cost. The electricity is still out, there is no air conditioning and no water. Passengers have waited up to five days, sleeping in the terminal hoping.

No military supply planes have landed in San Juan. The airport, runways are clearly built to for long haul planes and jets.

The Future

For Puerto Ricans the bright tomorrow, the kind and well-intended words meant to alleviate some of the painful suffering, the plans, hopes, are really falling on deaf ears. The people have been knocked to the ground, suffice to say they are so low it is hard to see up. Each day is an effort.

For the people, the needs are basic: shelter, pure drinking water, food and medical attention.

For the leaders, those politicians in state and in the United States, a greater leadership needs to rise from this devastation. City Planners have an opportunity to rebuild a better Puerto Rico, a celebrated Puerto Rico, the star of the Caribbean. It takes a commitment to both and a plan to manage both.

Once this initial period of desperation passes, Puerto Rico will see a building boom. For the moment, the United States and other generous nations need to be the brother they lean on while they find their families, ensure their homes are safe, secure food, shelter, water, medicine and basic needs.  

Various agencies are accepting donations earmarked for Puerto Rico: Water, canned goods, baby food, powdered milk, baby formula, diapers, baby wipes, blankets, pillows, tarps, tents, matches or lighters.

Health and Human Secretary Price Resigns; Homeland Secretary Still Vacant

President Trump's Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price has resigned after it came to the attention of the President Price had used up to $52,000 of federal funds to pay for private aviation, an offense which violates protocol.

"Well, we have great Secretaries, and we have some that actually own their own planes, as you know, and that solves that. But we put in an order that no more planes. If you look at past administrations -- for instance, if you look at the Obama administration and you take a look at the amount of time that they spent in the air, they spent a lot of time in the air. But I felt very badly because Secretary Price is a good man, but we are looking into it, and we're looking into it very strongly," the President said.

"The President intends to designate Don J. Wright of Virginia to serve as Acting Secretary, effective at 11:59 p.m. on September 29, 2017. Mr. Wright currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Homeland Security Secretary Position Still Vacant

As the White House revolving door beings another rotation, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary remains vacant. This of course, does not translate to a nation less safe.

When asked where he was in the search to fill the position, the president provided a brief assessment of his Cabinet adding, "We are -- well, first of all, we've -- you know, Brock has done a fantastic job at FEMA, and Elaine Duke is acting and she's working very hard. And I think what FEMA has done has been incredible between all of these hurricanes and doing so well. But we'll be making that decision probably within a month."

Paul Horner, Fake News Artist, Dies of Overdose

Paul Horner, known for creating fake news during the recent 2016 election that often went viral, was found dead this week at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. He was 38.

Horner, who simply wrote primarily fictitious political news reports, fake news, and posted the "news" on his website, National Report, was known to abuse prescription drugs.

"The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office told NPR that an autopsy found no signs of foul play and that Horner's family said he had a history of abusing prescription drugs. Evidence at the scene suggests that Horner may have died from an accidental overdose, according to the sheriff's office. The county's Office of the Medical Examiner told NPR that its investigation into Horner's death is open and pending, and thus foul play has not been ruled out," reports NPR.

During an interview Horner once joked on the humor in politics. His brother has said his work was genius. Part of the fake news Facebook campaign, Horner's work at its height was shared more than 250,000 times across the social media platform.

S.I. Newhouse, Conde Nast Mogul, Dies

Samuel Irving Newhouse, the co-owner of Advance Publications, and heir to a vast media empire, died today in New York City after a long illness. He was 89.

Known as "Si" to everyone, Newhouse, was the Chairman Emeritus of Conde Nast, the media parent to some of the most famous titles in the world, including Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker: Iconic New York magazines from a born and breed New Yorker.

"Today is a day of emotion, of genuine loss," said his family in a statement. "Si was always the first person to come to the office, arriving well before dawn and bringing to each day a visionary creative spirit coupled with no-nonsense business acumen."

Conde Nast under the umbrella of Advance Publications owns nearly two dozen magazine publications. Newhouse served as the Publication's Chairman for four decades. His brother, Donald, runs the newspaper division and which holds an equally impressive portfolio of prestigious print titles. The two, never short on vision, purchased a stake in Discovery Communications and restructured the impressive magazine portfolio into a digital platform.

   "Si Newhouse was the most extraordinary leader," said Anna Wintour, Condé Nast artistic director and Editor in Chief of Vogue. "Wherever he led, I followed, unquestioningly, simply because he put as much faith in me as I had in him. Si never looked at data or statistics, but went with his instincts and expected his editors to do the same. He urged us to take risks and was effusive in his praise when they paid off. Every time I'd preview the latest issue of Vogue with him, he'd encourage me to go for the less expected cover, the more compelling image. Yet there was nothing showy about the way Si led. This humble, thoughtful, highly idiosyncratic man, quite possibly the least judgmental person I've ever known, preferred family, friends, art, movies, and his beloved pugs over the flashiness of the New York media world. His personality shaped the entire company. It might have been a huge global media entity, yet Si, who arrived at 4 a.m. every day in an unchanging uniform, ran it like his own personal and very benevolent fiefdom. We'd regularly have lunch—lunches which were scheduled by him six months in advance—and he'd arrive with a yellow legal pad, with maybe three words written on it. So few words, yet somehow, they encapsulated so many lessons, lessons which I still strive to put into practice every day I come to work."

Newhouse is survived by his wife Victoria, three children and his brother Donald.

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