Puerto Rico was a Disaster. Washington Still Is.

Republicans are so eager to pretend that Trump can make no mistakes that they’re ignoring life-and-death lessons from Hurricane Maria.

❝ There’s a new official death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and it’s ugly: The island now estimates that 2,975 people died. Donald Trump, however, is still telling everyone his administration did a “fantastic job” and making excuses for the things that did go wrong, which he somehow also doesn’t acknowledge.

And Congress? They don’t seem very interested in the subject.

❝ The thing is: We really don’t know how the response went so wrong. It’s fairly clear that Trump didn’t do his job very well; he didn’t push the bureaucracy to make Puerto Rico relief a high priority, which is something presidents can really do to affect overall government response.

But beyond that, a year later, no one really knows how much of the disaster was the responsibility of the president; how much the responsibility of FEMA; how much was Puerto Rican officials; and how much was other parts of the federal government. Nor do we know how much was simply the inherent difficulty of emergency operations on the island.

❝ The continuing deliberate ignorance is a disaster in itself. It’s one thing for government operations to go wrong; it’s another for the incumbent party to falsely claim that everything is just peachy keen.

There is nothing new about the Republican Party ignoring the plight of folks who mostly vote Democrat. Throw in the fact they speak Spanish – the language at the top of the list of “furriners it’s OK to treat like dirt” – you have a perfect form for ignoring a chunk of Americans and their difficulties.

An investigation might provoke change. More likely, Trumpkins would rather wait till someone “important” is crapped on by Mother Nature. Like a clot of lower middle-class racists in some gerrymandered Confederate suburb.

Serena Williams pokes French tennis stiffs in the eye with her tutu

❝ For the stylish 23-time Grand Slam champion’s first match of the 2018 U.S. Open, Williams sported a one-shoulder black athletic tennis dress with a ballerina-esque tutu skirt. The outfit was created by Louis Vuitton and Off-White designer Virgil Abloh…

❝ Williams, who emerged from her first round of the US Open victorious, made headlines for her on-court fashion just days earlier after French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli told Tennis Magazine that the catsuit that Williams wore to the tournament this year will “no longer be accepted…one must respect the game and the place.”

Every sport has the odd official more concerned with conformity to social norms than experiments which may advance the skill of athletes. Serena answered the French Federation’s Grande Poobah with style and humor.