Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico STILL has major problems….Past issues hasn’t helped…

The island has had infrastructure shortcoming for a long time…

The recent hurrinace hasn’t helped….

The rebuilding efforts must deal with old problems , not just the hurricane damage…

Scores of homes damaged in Hurricane Maria are shown Dec. 20 in San Isidro, Puerto Rico.

When Hurricane Maria ripped across Puerto Rico, it revealed the damage wrought by years of government neglect. It also exposed an open secret generations in the making: Tens of thousands of island residents are, in fact, squatters, living illegally on abandoned or government land.

For years, squatters were ignored or used as political pawns as the bankrupt central government swung from crisis to crisis. That changed with Maria, which tore through these low-lying barrios with particular ferocity. Now, with no legal claim to their homes or the land they’re built on, squatters find themselves unmoored from federal aid — and high on the government’s list of priorities.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, who took office in January, wants to fix his squatter problem by embracing it. He’s proposed giving 48,000 illegal settlers legal title to their land, a plan that could cost up to $30 million. He needs federal disaster aid to make the project work.

“Before the emergency, it was something we needed to do; now it’s a more ambitious project,” said Puerto Rico Housing Secretary Fernando Gil. “It would be helping out 48,000 people who thought that they couldn’t get any help.”

Rosselló, a Democrat, has had limited success squeezing disaster aid out of the Republican administration and Congress in the aftermath of the storm. But the issue of land ownership could be a test case for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who has promised to break through entrenched government policies to put people on the path to self-sufficiency.

In meetings this month with Carson and HUD Deputy Secretary Pam Patenaude, the Rosselló administration asked for flexibility to spend disaster aid on land surveys and other work needed to transfer property ownership to squatters. HUD didn’t respond to questions for this story, but on a visit to San Juan this month, Carson acknowledged Puerto Rico’s challenges.

“We do recognize that the situation is different here than it is in Texas or Florida or many places,” Carson said. “We want to look at the goals, not the rules.”….


top image….| M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

Puerto Rican electric utility says it’s canceling deal with the tiny electric company Whitefish

There have been media focusing on the possible ties to the company and   Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke….

Zinke has denied having anything to do with company, that does not have the staff (it consists of 2 people) to handle a large job …The company is out of the Interior Sec’s 6,000 person home town…

Puerto Rico’s state-run electric utility said Sunday that it has accepted the governor’s request to immediately cancel a $300 million contract with a small Montana-based energy firm amid mounting controversy over the deal, according to media reports.

Ricardo Ramos, the island’s energy authority executive director, announced the decision during a press conference, according to ABC News.

The decision followed another press conference on Sunday in which Gov. Ricardo Rosselló called for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) to “immediately” cancel the deal.

Not long afterward, local media reported that Ramos had canceled the contract.

PREPA cut the deal to repair Puerto Rico’s crumbling electrical grid on Sept. 26, just days after Hurricane Maria barrelled across the island.

At the time the storm hit the island, Whitefish had only two full-time employees. The arrangement drew intense scrutiny, with critics arguing that the firm did not have experience working on a project as large in scale as that in Puerto Rico. The island has been without power for more than a month….


FEMA: “Not our job to deliver water and food” to Puerto Ricans. Think I am making this up? Wrong!

That was the response Rachel got when FEMA was asked why it has been almost 3 weeks since the last hurricane hit Aibonito, a small town high in the mountains about an hour south of San Juan, and FEMA has yet to deliver a single bottle of water.

FEMA claims the roads aren’t passable,   For the record, when I say “about an hour south” I mean Google Maps puts the drive — right now — at 1 hour and 5 minutes if I take the autopista (highway).  BUT it also says there are portions of the road that are closed.  Soooo you have to take route 173 and that takes 1 hour and 24 minutes.  Maybe Google is wrong, right?  It would be nice if someone on the ground could actually make the trip…. oh wait… what’s that?  The MSNBC film crew already made the trip and it took them “about an hour and a half.”

As the MSNBC video shows, they got there no problem because the road was clear. No bridges out, no trees in the way, no mudslides, no raging rivers.  Not even bad hombres. I realize the last menace would be Mexicans and there shouldn’t be any Mexicans clogging up the roads in Puerto Rico right now. But we all know to the Trump Klan, Puerto Ricans are just Island Mexicans, so they probably worry about that sort of thing.

Presented with the fact of Maddow’s team having video evidence directly contradicting their claims,  FEMA then dropped this bombshell: Apparently, FEMA says it is the mayor’s job to distribute food and water. They are just there to help people fill out paperwork….


Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico….

Added to US Island’s fianacial woe’s will the devestation from two major storms within a few weeks period…..

Hurricane Maria roared ashore Wednesday as the strongest storm to strike Puerto Rico in more than 80 years, knocking out power to nearly the entire island and leaving frightened people huddled in buildings hoping to ride out withstand powerhouse winds that have already left death and devastation across the Caribbean.

“On the forecast track, [Maria] would be the most destructive hurricane in Puerto Rico history,” tweeted Eric Blake, a forecaster at the Hurricane Center.

The storm first slammed the coast near Yabucoa at 6:15 a.m. as a Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds — the first Category 4 storm to directly strike the island since 1932. By midmorning, Maria had fully engulfed the 100-mile-long island as winds snapped palm trees, peeled off rooftops, sent debris skidding across beaches and roads, and cut power to nearly the entire island.

In Guayama, on Puerto Rico’s southern coast, video clips posted on social media showed a street turned into a river of muddy floodwaters. San Juan buildings shook and glass windows shattered from the force of the storm. Residents of some high-rise apartments sought refuge in bathrooms and first-floor lobbies….


Hurricane Irma is a Category 5 Hurricane with 185 MPH Winds ….

Here we go again…..

This time Florida and the Carribean Island are in for a rough going….

Is Mother Nature gonna break the US Budget this year?

Out hopes are for no loss of life….

Image result for Hurricane irma

As Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded, aimed for Puerto Rico and other islandsthroughout the Caribbean, residents scrambled Tuesday to rush out of flood zones, stock up on the last available water, food and gas, shutter their homes and brace for what is now, and could remain, a mammoth Category 5 hurricane.

“We have to prepare for an event that we have never experienced here,” said Gov. Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico at a news conference, as he went on to call the hurricane’s arrival imminent and its potential catastrophic.

Packing winds of up to 185 miles an hour, Irma threatened havoc and widespread destruction across Puerto Rico, a United States territory of 3.4 million people, the nearby island of Hispaniola (home to the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the United States Virgin Islands, among others. Cuba is also threatened. The storm is expected to rake or sideswipe Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

President Trump declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico, Florida and the United States Virgin Islands on Tuesday.

Hurricane Irma is one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center and Bryan Norcross, the hurricane specialist at The Weather Channel. The hurricane center said Irma had winds of up to 185 mph as it approached the Leeward Islands. There have been other storms with comparable winds in the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico, where the warm waters fuel particularly dangerous hurricanes.

With Harvey’s destruction still fresh on people’s minds, Florida hustled into action….





Irma, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in history, was picked up machines used to measure earthquakes.

House Republican’s block Dem’s attempt on Puerto Rico bill cuts in Min Wage and OT…

Bernie Sanders is right,,,

Cuts in the bill to the Min Wage and OT provsisons President Obama just put out are NOT right for the Commonwealth….

The White House is NOT happy with the Min Wage and OT cuts….

It is unknown if the President will move to veto the bill whihc is urgently needed by Puerto Rico…

A Democratic amendment that would strip language allowing Puerto Rico to lower its minimum wage was ruled out of order by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop during a Wednesday markup of H.R. 5278.

Bishop (R-Utah) said the amendment, offered by Rep. Norma Torres of California, is outside of the panel’s jurisdiction. The amendment would strike the portion of the bill that lays out a process for Puerto Rico’s governor to lower the minimum wage for residents age 25 and younger for as long as the proposed oversight board remains operational.

Bishop also ruled out of order an amendment offered by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) that would strike a section of the measure that exempts Puerto Rico from the Labor Department’s recently finalized overtime rule….


The Saturday Night March 5th Election Party–A Primer & Open Thread

Image result for trump/cruz/rubio/kasich

The GOP Primary has devolved into even more of a slugfest of late, with Trump, the $750 million man himself, leading the charge with such insulting nicknames as “Little Marco”(Rubio) and “Lying Ted”(Cruz), the invocation of his #DwarfedHands, and even more allusions to his #MajesticPenis.
How his Junior High antics will affect him remains to be seen, and could prove to be a wild card in tonight’s races, though he has to date retained his, as always, HUGE leads in national and state polling.
Trump has also accumulated a sturdy number of delegates from his wins on Super Tuesday, though not as much as some had expected.
The delegate margin between him and Ted Cruz is not as fireproof as some had hoped it would be, and there is now a concerted effort afoot by Conservatives and Republicans alike to topple Trump by denying him the required 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. How far this ultimately goes remains to be seen.
Another wild card tonight will be how many votes Trump has banked in early voting, his strongest demographic by a solid country mile, and how many votes he loses among late-breakers, far and away his worst voting demographic.
In closer states like Kansas, Kentucky, and Maine, this could prove to be all the difference between a win or a loss.

Image result for clinton/sanders

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is poised for a good night overall.
In the wake of her shattering wins in the South on Super Tuesday, the party is now in a state of coalescence as it regards the candidacy of Clinton. At this point, all Sanders can hope to do is to win the occasional Primary accumulate delegates, and influence the language of the party platform at the convening of the Democratic convention in July.
One such win for Sanders would be in the state of Kansas, where, like in Oklahoma this past Tuesday, Clinton only narrowly led going into the day’s voting. She ultimately lost to Sanders by double digits.
The Midwestern states have a decidedly prairie populistic streak in them, so such a result would not be totally out of the blue.
While she might take in one ‘L’ tomorrow night, she should be good for the other states and, in the end, the nomination.


Kansas–Cruz beats Trump 34-30, with Rubio taking in 20% and Kasich taking in 13%. Sanders wins 56-44.

Kentucky–Trump wins 32-29 over Rubio, with Cruz taking in 22% and Kasich taking in 14%.

Louisiana--Trump wins 38-27 over Cruz, with Rubio taking in 22% and Kasich taking in 13%. Clinton wins 73-27.

Maine–Kasich wins 36-33 over Trump, with Rubio taking in 21% and Cruz taking in 10%.

Nebraska--Clinton wins 52-47.

Puerto Rico–Rubio wins handily, exact margin indeterminable as of now.


top image…. theseatonpost.com

bottom image….nbcnews.com

Could Puerto Rico be going the way of Detroit?…or Worst?

The Island has a Governor….

It’s population has long benefited from it’s CommonwealthStatus which allowed it’s resident ‘s American benefits of a state …..

But the place has a debt problem to the tune of $70 Billliion…..

And the bill COULD end up in Washington….Not San Juan….

The implications are serious for Americans outside Puerto Rico both because a taxpayer bailout would be expensive and a default would be far more disruptive than Detroit’s record bankruptcy filing in July. Officials in San Juan and Washington are adamant that a federal bailout is not on the table, but the situation is being closely monitored by the White House, which recently named an advisory team to help Puerto Rican officials navigate the crisis.

The island’s problems have ignited an exodus not seen here since the 1950s, when 500,000 people left for jobs on the mainland. Now Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens, are again leaving in droves.

They are choosing the uncertainty of the job market in Orlando or New York City or Philadelphia over what they view as the certainty that their dreams would be crushed by the U.S. territory’s grinding economic problems.

“We used to move a lot of machinery into Puerto Rico, and executives who worked in the pharmaceutical industry here,” said Neftaly Rodriguez, whose father founded Rosa del Monte. “Now we are packing people up to go out. Everybody is looking for a better opportunity.”

Puerto Rico lost 54,000 residents — 1.5 percent of its population — between 2010 and 2012 alone. Since recession struck in 2006, the population has shrunk by more than 138,000 to 3.7 million, with the vast majority of the outflow headed to the mainland.

The brutal combination of a long recession, a shrinking population and overwhelming debt has left Puerto Rico’s political leaders struggling to manage a conundrum: How do they tame at least $70 billion in debt while marshaling the resources to grow a shrinking economy and battle corrosive social problems, including a homicide rate that is nearly six times the U.S. average?


Santorum steps on it in Puerto Rico…..

Here’s me yesterday, thinking I was making a joke:

How much will GOP candidates talk about English as the Official Language while campaigning in Puerto Rico?
— @markos via TweetDeck

But when it comes to Republicans, no notion is too outlandish.

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum told Puerto Ricans on Wednesday they would have to make English their primary language if they want to pursue U.S. statehood, a statement at odds with the U.S. Constitution.

Congrats to Puerto Rico winner, Mitt Romney, as long as he just shuts up…….

The Puerto Rico Connection in Florida….

Over and over this week I have heard one thing about Florida….

While the popular break down of the Hispanic  numbers in that state are thought to be mostly Cuban…

That isn’t the case it seems anymore…..

The word that keeps coming up is Puerto Rican’s….

American citizens…..


And strongly Democratic voters……

For them imigration is NOT a issue for them….

“The Hispanic vote has diversified,” said Florida GOP strategist Ana Navarro. For national candidates courting Florida’s Hispanic voters, “it means coming down to Miami and having a Cuban coffee is still a must, but now there’s got to be more to it than that.”

The surge of Puerto Ricans has “brought balance to Florida Hispanics,” said Jamie Miller, a Sarasota-based Republican consultant and former state GOP executive director.

Puerto Ricans’ escalating numbers already have helped Florida Democrats reach a crucial milestone: In 2008 — and for the first time in the state — more Hispanics registered as Democrats than as Republicans. In the latest state statistics, Democrats outpaced Republicans in Hispanic voter registration by 8 percentage points.

“You used to be able to say Florida Hispanics are Republicans,” Miller said. “Now that’s not necessarily the case. The Puerto Rican community is much different from the Cuban community from an electoral standpoint. They vote Democrat rather than Republican, for the most part.”

The 2010 census data released last month showed a dramatic 57 percent increase in Florida’s overall Hispanic population, far outpacing the 18 percent total population increase. The increase means Hispanics account for 23 percent of the state’s 18.8 million residents.

Some of the biggest Hispanic growth rates were seen in Orange and Osceola counties, located in the middle of the so-called I-4 corridor — the 133-mile highway that runs across the state’s peninsula through Tampa, Orlando and Daytona Beach.


The President is going to Puerto Rico……

President Obama will hop aboard Air Force One and travel to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rice on June 14, next Tuesday….

By going there he will fulfill a pledge he made during the 2008 campaign season to return as President…

(He went to the island twice to camapign in 2008)

American President’s don’t get to PR too much….

The last visit by one was decades ago…..

Obama will find Puerto Rico a place of contrasts….


A Republican Governor…

A population divided between statehood and keeping the Commonwealth….With a sprinkle of people holding out for Independence…

A place with an unemployment level above 15%….

A place with more of its countrymen/woman residing in the US than on the Island…

A  place that sends its sons and daughters to join the American military…..

But not vote….


Obama will visit to get a view and to fundraise…

But the people of the island will want him to address the same issue that dogs the mainland….

Crime and Jobs…..

On his whirlwind stop, the president is expected to meet with Puerto Rico’s governor, Luis Fortuño, a Republican who supports statehood, attend a business round table, deliver a speech in Old San Juan and attend a quick fund-raising event. He will also encounter a throng of “Obama Go Home” protesters — Puerto Ricans who want the island to break free of United States control.

Other presidents have visited since 1961 but only on business unrelated to Puerto Rico. President Gerald R. Ford visited the island in 1976 to address the Group of Seven economic summit, and President Lyndon B. Johnson stopped at a military base in Aguadilla in 1968 to inaugurate a military aircraft.

“This is huge,” said Pedro R. Pierluisi, a Democrat and Puerto Rico’s nonvoting representative in Congress. “No president has been here in 50 years. It tells the world that he cares about Puerto Rico.”

“Some say he is coming here with political motivations,” said Mr. Pierluisi, who sat outside a local Starbucks. “I say, ‘So what?’ Presidents should care about us and come down here and familiarize themselves with our issues. It should be so. We should be treated fairly and responsibly.”

Mr. Obama will arrive at a vulnerable time for this Caribbean island of 3.7 million people. Hit hard by a recession that began here in 2006, Puerto Rico has an unemployment rate that remains stubbornly high, 16.2 percent in April, compared with 9 percent on the mainland. The island has also been rocked by a sky-high murder rate, much of it related to the drug trade, which has led to widespread anxiety.

Being careful to keep expectations in check, Puerto Ricans say they are nevertheless hopeful that Mr. Obama will speak about the economy and crime and make mention of Puerto Rico’s longstanding identity crisis regarding its political status. Few Puerto Ricans have forgotten that when Mr. Obama came here twice to campaign during the primary against Hillary Rodham Clinton (he lost), he promised to return to the island as president and to resolve Puerto Rico’s status during his first term…..More…..

(Photo of Obama in one of his 2008 Camapign visits to PR…..Photo Source….uliorvarela.com )

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