According to The Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe the USNS Comfort Will Not Be Deployed

Washington Post reporter Dan Lamothe has broken some interesting news: the USNS Comfort will not be deployed to Puerto Rico. Here are the details:

And here’s Lamothe non twitter reporting on the topic at WaPo.

121 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    a port deep enough is not open at this time.

    The port will get deeper later?

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: They have rotary wing and landing craft capability. That said, the Comfort isn’t an amphibious ship like the four in the Kearsarge float.

    Here’s a response from someone with knowledge of Comfort’s operations:

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: And this seems to put paid to the claim:

    Someone at DOD is jerking Lamothe around.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I don’t know enough to care about this one ship. I just hope whatever they deploy is adequate.

  5. 5
    Arm The Homeless says:

    …It’s old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars….

    …owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities – and doing well. #FEMA

    This fucking guy…

    The next time Kansas gets whacked by a tornado, this asshole is going to bring up their debt, or the fact Trump is trying to hire the cultist largely responsible for that debt?

    What a disgrace

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks. Glad people are speaking up.

  7. 7
    lamh36 says:

    @EricHolthaus
    @EricHolthaus 8h8 hours ago
    More
    Editors: What stories would you want to tell in the early days of Katrina? Because that’s what’s happening in Puerto Rico right now.

    Puerto Rico has 7x the population of New Orleans spread out over 10x the area. This disaster is on a scale unknown in modern U.S. history.
    https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/912394658776539136

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    That makes no sense to me. Does the Comfort require that much more depth than a cruise ship (and some monsters land dock at PR)?

    Maybe it does. Thanks for being on this.

    Also: so far some of the cruise lines seem to have offered more material and support than I’ve heard is happening from other than FEMA agencies.

  9. 9

    @Adam L Silverman: I was about to say, I’ve been on a cruise that stopped there.

  10. 10

    Since this is an open thread: FUCK Graham and Cassidy, FUCK the Trump Administration for sitting on its dick about Puerto Rico while butthurting about taking the knee, TRIPLE FUCK Anthony Weiner’s sexually-abusing ass for also getting us into this mess in the first place and MOTHERFUCK this fucking wigger and her fucking quacks (and by extension, all of you who see it).

  11. 11
    gene108 says:

    As the official DoD statement WaPo reported in the OP will just get parroted by the MSM, at best*, I give a big Mission Accomplished to Trump’s PR team.

    * As Puerto Rico is largely being ignored, this constitutes some reporting at least.

  12. 12
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    1 Trump slut shames PR
    2 Bernie makes common cause with Aunt Pitty Pat to undermine the ACA
    3 Pentagon throws PR to the wolves

    Failed state baby !

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: This is one of two hospital, humanitarian response, disaster management, and/or emergency response ships in the fleet. The other is the USNS Mercy. They are designed for this type of thing. Also, in comparison, when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan we sent over 120 ships as soon as we could put them afloat. Plus significant ground, amphibious, and air assets. Right now we’ve got a US Navy float of four amphibious ships with their Marine Expeditionary Unit, an Army medical company, an Army civil information support unit, some Coast Guard assets, some FEMA assets, etc. Over 3 million Americans are at risk and we’ve sent less than 10% of what we sent to aid Japan.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: No, its load line is between 30 and 40 feet. It also has the rotary wing and landing assets, including a full flight deck, to stand offshore and ferry people, equipment, and supplies back and forth to shore.

  15. 15
    japa21 says:

    Okay, so we have a monster as President who even when he tries to acknowledge PR’s problems, has to point out how bad it was to begin with. That’s almost like saying so, really, they aren’t that much worse than before. Remind me of Barb Bush’s comments about the folks in the Astrodome. It also sounds like he was finally told to make some comments by somebody.

    One thing Obama always did was recognize all the different religious holidays. Did Trump even acknowledge Rosh Hashana? I don’t remember seeing anything. And if he does recognize Yom Kippur, it will probably be by saying something like “Happy Yom Kippur” which, as I understand it, not being Jewish, is probably not the best thing to say. I know Adam will correct me if I am wrong.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That puts it in perspective. Thanks, Adam.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I hate being right about this stuff:

  18. 18
    Repatriated says:

    There’s still more than a month left in the hurricane season. My naive guess is they’re holding it in reserve, to avoid the optics of having to redeploy from an ongoing recovery effort (abandoning it) if another devastating storm hits.

    Triage isn’t ever pretty, but this is also a form of triage.

  19. 19

    @Adam L Silverman: those records were always the real weak points to hacking, not voting machines or tallies.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It would seem to be a no brainer to send it, as a symbol of goodwill and care.

    But that’s beyond this admin, apparently. You would think Gen. Kelly would understand the symbolism of sending the Comfort. To FELLOW Americans, dog-dammit.

  21. 21
    Mart says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Could be deep ports have debris and/or lack of infrastructure is an issue now, that could be fixed later. Does sound like more lies though.

  22. 22
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Remind me again why everyone thinks everything should be connected to the goddamn Internet. Now I will go drink some Draino.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Thanksgiving Dinner is going to be a wee bit uncomfortable this year:

  24. 24
    Wag says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Over 3 million Americans are at risk and we’ve sent less than 10% of what we sent to aid Japan.

    Yeah, but how much of the US economy is tied to Puerto Rico? Not much, I’m sure. How much is tied to Japan?

    Fuck Trump and the crypto libertarian fascists who worship money above country.

  25. 25
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mart: Still would be good to send it, and depend on the flight deck and launches.

    Don’t we think our PR fellow Americans would take comfort from seeing the Comfort docked off their shores, ready to aid?

  26. 26

    @Wag: you think trump would’ve sent the same amount of help to Japan that Obama did?

  27. 27
    Oatler. says:

    Maybe Trump will send laundry- ship the USS Walter Mondale.

  28. 28
    Bill Arnold says:

    Just for the record, a few of today’s US government press releases:

    FEMA: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2017/09/25/federal-agencies-continue-hurricane-maria-response-and-relief-operations

    EPA: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-hurricane-irma-recovery-update-monday-september-25

    The FEMA page has a lot of detail. Don’t know the level of truth (Trump (“truth” is what we say, and what we say is true, and who you gonna believe, us or your lyin’ “reality”?) administration, but FEMA is run by career (“deep state”) people and I have heard a few stories of competence firsthand), and the level of aid vs need (skewed entirely inadequate from other reports).

  29. 29
    Another Scott says:

    One could read Dan’s last tweet in Adam’s post as saying a suitable port “wasn’t available (at present, due to hurricane damage)” rather than “one doesn’t exist on the island”. It’s a big ship and needs a lot of infrastructure if it’s going to dock. That infrastructure may not exist now.

    True? Dunno.

    Reading about the USNS Comfort on Wikipedia, I was surprised to see that it only deployed 7 weeks for Katrina and only a few months to help after the Haiti earthquake.

    I assume that if the ship can be useful to our fellow citizens in PR, then the Navy will send it.

    I will be outraged if we don’t.

    But sending it for symbolic purposes doesn’t make sense. The last thing we need from this administration is more Potemkin theatre – “We sent the Comfort just like we said we would (even though we can’t get patients off and on it), so kwityerbitchin….”

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  30. 30
    Mike in NC says:

    Remember that we’re constantly told that Trump is “transactional”, as in what profit does he pocket from aiding the people of Puerto Rico?

    About 20 years ago I was in a Navy Reserve unit whose mission included tracking and responding to hurricanes. Sadly, bureaucratic infighting resulted in that unit being largely dissolved and the hurricane mission was farmed out to others who were less capable of handling it.

  31. 31
    Repatriated says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    This is troubling, because it would undoubtedly apply to any successful hacking efforts as well:

    However, should Pennsylvania learn more from the Department of Homeland Security, it may not reveal that information publicly because of security concerns, Cortes said.

  32. 32

    @Wag:
    I guarantee you Trump does not give the slightest fuck about any economy but his own bank account. Trump thinks more brown people dying is a good thing. He is that racist.

  33. 33
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Elizabelle being a cat, but poor Tiffany.

    She looks like a fish. Two relatively attractive parents, and her features arranged themselves like that.

    At least she was raised in relative normality by her mom. Who may have been horrified at DJT musing to Vanity Fair (?) in an interview that his infant daughter might end up with a good rack.

  34. 34
    Mart says:

    @Elizabelle: Of course send it and all you have. Just thinking there could be substance to deep port access; but the craft’s helicopters do not care about that. So tomorrow night when I meet up with an Obama truther he will say the hospital ship can’t get to port, give Trump a chance, you libtard. This is how they get away with it in wingnut world.

  35. 35
    J R in WV says:

    OK, that’s enough. The administration intends to kill off Puerto Ricans by denying them the best disaster recovery work this nation can provide. We did more for Haiti than we’re doing for Puerto Rico, I guess because they speak French and Puerto Ricans speak Spanish?

    I dunno. Seems very suspicious. I can’t express how I feel about the current administration with words in English. Perhaps Dante could do it in Latin? I only took 2 years of Latin, so can’t compete.

  36. 36

    @J R in WV: well, Dante wrote in Italian, but he did probably have more than two years of Latin.

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: As I’ve said repeatedly. I’m not a tech person, but I can teach network based targeting.

  38. 38
    dmsilev says:

    @Mart: If you have the motivation, it takes surprisingly little time to get at least bare-bones functionality back to a port. In college, more years ago then I like to remember, I read through the official Army history of the reconstruction of Cherbourg’s port after it was liberated from the Germans early in the Normandy campaign. The port had been thoroughly wrecked by the retreating Germans: ships sunk to block channels, everything that could be blown up was blown up, etc. Even still, it was weeks rather than months before the port was in (limited) use landing supplies and so forth.

    Clearing a single channel to one sufficiently-large jetty isn’t nearly as bad, and will have to be done anyway to get supplies in.

  39. 39
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    it certainly seems disingenuous.

    Spelled “a lie”

  40. 40
    LanceThruster says:

    Cheetolini chose to mention they owe the banks a lot of money in one of his tweets.

    Guess he is worried he might get stiffed.

    A seriously pathetic POS.

  41. 41
    LanceThruster says:

    Cheetolini chose to mention they owe the banks a lot of money in one of his tweets.

    Guess he is worried he might get stiffed.

    A seriously pathetic POS.

    [sigh]

  42. 42
    debbie says:

    Why doesn’t Mattis intervene?

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: FEMA’s releases are accurate. They’re were I got the info on the Kearsarge and her amphibious readiness group. It is is still an order of magnitude less than what we did to help Japan after the earthquake and tsunami.

  44. 44
    J R in WV says:

    The Comfort can house and treat 1000 beds of patients, and has a landing pad capable of handling military helicopters and I presume Ospry aircraft. These aircraft don’t just handle one patient, they handle multiple patients per flight.

    The more I think about the the angrier I get. I gotta stop and read about cars or games or NASA or something before I pop a vein or worse. Later, folks, Take care, don’t over do it.

  45. 45
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: We have ways to get people on and off it other than up a gangway. Again, she can be stood off the coast and people, equipment, and supplies can be ferried back and forth by air and landing craft.

    She doesn’t stay anywhere long as she’s one of only two of her kind in the fleet. So there’s often demand. She goes in, helps do initial stabilization operations, then moves on once essential services begin to come back online.

  46. 46
    catclub says:

    Slightly OT: Sen Collins comes out as NO on latest ACA repeal bill.

    I noticed her statement said something along the lines of: “if they can change the funding formula overnight to benefit one state in particular, then they can just as likely change it around again, later”

    So does not trust her GOP colleagues – wise move.

  47. 47

    @J R in WV:

    I guess because they speak French and Puerto Ricans speak Spanish?

    Because Puerto Ricans, in Trump’s mind, are Mexicans living in America. The more of them that die, the better. The more I see of the man, the more clear it is that he is as white supremacist as it gets.

  48. 48
    Ian G. says:

    I’m beginning to think Katrina isn’t the right analogy. East Pakistan (modern Bangladesh) and the apocalyptic cyclone that struck in 1970. The brutally indifferent response from the Pakistani government spurred an independence movement.

  49. 49
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Repatriated: Yep.

  50. 50
    catclub says:

    @J R in WV: Dante wrote in Italian – not Latin.
    I have considered learning Italian to read Dante in the original.

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: I don’t know. Remember the DOD is understaffed because most of the political appointments for the DOD itself and the Services haven’t been made or if they have, haven’t been finalized. Lot of landing team leftovers who don’t know what they’re doing and/or have ideological axes to grind. It may be that it hasn’t actually trickled up to him yet. When Lamothe’s reporting shows up in tomorrow’s Early Bird, however, he’ll know.

  52. 52
    Elizabelle says:

    @catclub: I was interested Murkowski never took a stand, to my knowledge.

    I have assumed she was a “No”, and wonder if she felt endangered to announce that. You would think there would be some benefit to her, since Graham-Cassidy is probably going to enter political wonk territory as some of the worst legislation ever proposed.

  53. 53
    Ian G. says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    I like my wiggers like Frog from “The Wire”.

    Seriously. Seeing this woman makes me think we deserve another chicxulub asteroid. Evolution fucked up when it made homo sapiens. It needs to try again.

  54. 54
    Teddys Person says:

    @Elizabelle: It was on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous so it was a TV interview. The visuals are as horrific as you would imagine. And yes, I’m ashamed that I have this piece of information so readily at hand.

  55. 55
    catclub says:

    @Repatriated:

    There’s still more than a month left in the hurricane season.

    two, ends Nov 30.

  56. 56
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That’s why having physical records, and no ‘net access to vital records, is so effing important. I can check online to see if I’m registered; but to make any changes to that registration, I have to appear in the basement of Town Hall to do the deed. And it takes about 10 days for the copy to get to the state vital records, digitized, and available to me, those paying $ for access (political parties registered with the state).

    I’m thinking we need some kind of explicit amendment for a right to privacy; when some states have some form in their constitutions, others don’t.

  57. 57
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The earthquake and tsunami only affected a small area of Japan. Ports and docks and airports and the power grid and all the rest existed in Japan and could immediately accept internal and outside aid. The whole island of Puerto Rico was decimated by a hurricane and there’s rubble everywhere with no functioning infrastructure anywhere.

    They really aren’t comparable.

    It’s going to take more time to get recovery and reconstruction things going in PR than for Katrina or for Fukushima or even for Haiti. So I’m not surprised that things are going slowly (as horrible as that is for the citizens there).

    But Donnie and the whole federal government need to be working around the clock and doing what they can to make it possible to get equipment and supplies in there as soon as possible, to enable infrastructure like the USNS Comfort and/or Mercy to help (if it makes sense for them to do so, and it’s hard to imagine a case when they wouldn’t be useful), and all the rest.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  58. 58
    encephalopath says:

    I have to admit I haven’t called my Senators through any of the healthcare craziness because they were both already on the side of the angels.

    But I may call them tomorrow and ask that they spend some political capital on moving aid to Puerto Rico and moving it now. Those are Americans, goddamnit, and we CANNOT leave them to die.

  59. 59
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I hate being right about this stuff:

    We do not know – provenance of network attacks (through the internet) is near-impossible to prove, and we only know about stuff that was detected. It is possible that there was actual undetected (or worse, undisclosed by the cheating side) direct interference (in key states where Trump won by a small margin; you’ve seen the speculations certainly.) It is also possible that things are … not as they seem, though given a forced choice I’d bet on it being mostly (but very probably not entirely) Russian, since there are human trails (meetings, calls etc) pointing solidly at Russian interference or attempted interference or interest in interference. Other possibilities remain, some of them pretty strange. The Russians unfortunately will continue to spin up and promote conspiracy theories. (Really wish they wouldn’t put so much effort into polluting truth space. Many thanks for your posts on Russian methods.)

  60. 60
    jl says:

    I read, probably on comments in this blog earlier today, that Speaker Ryan thinks Congress can look at the PR situation in mid October.
    The technical logistical issues might be special in this case, though I am doubtful.

    But Ryan’s attitude tells you all you need to know.
    It’s not just a Trump thing. It’s a GOP thing.

    So, would it do any good for me to contact Haley and ask what is the hold up on UN sanctions on the US for human rights violations? We have a couple of chronic and acute issues that would justify it, IMHO.

  61. 61
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Bah. This is big enough it should have trickled to wherever he is on Day 1.

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    THE EVER LOVING PHUCK?!!!!

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

    Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble..
    5:45 PM – 25 Sep 2017

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

    …It’s old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars….
    5:50 PM – 25 Sep 2017

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

    …owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities – and doing well. #FEMA
    5:58 PM – 25 Sep 2017

  63. 63
    Repatriated says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Remember the DOD is understaffed because most of the political appointments for the DOD itself and the Services haven’t been made or if they have, haven’t been finalized. 

    After all, this is the Administration that couldn’t redirect the carrier task force to support South Korea as they had threatened they were doing…

  64. 64
    J R in WV says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    You sure about that? Italian? I didn’t think intellectuals at that time used the vernacular for anything but bar bills…

    OK, looked it up, you’re right. I didn’t take any Italian, ever. Had Google translate loaded on the tablet when we went to Italy briefly, never needed it. It says he used the Tuscan dialect which makes since, he was from Firenze / Florence.

  65. 65
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Finally, an area where Trump might be better equipped than Dub. IIRC, some Dub staffers made up a CD of pics and clips and got past the monsters in his administration to show the disaster to him. Will have to wait until Trump switches over from Fox News to something else. Mika and Joe need to hurl some insults so Trump lasers in on CNN for a while.

  66. 66
    Elizabelle says:

    @Teddys Person: Some things just do not get erased by Brain Bleach.

    I am horrified at what I remember of The Donald, because he has never been a fascination of mine. It used to be, everyone could see he was a buffoon. Welcome to 2016. Le sigh.

  67. 67
    Mart says:

    @Mart: There could be issues with dock equipment, towers, and emergency generators to handle cargo containers. Also roads, bridges, transport fuel to distribute goods and services. Again I am not saying this is a good excuse for not putting all hands on deck. I called my Senators and congress critter asking for them to make an issue of this. It is just the kind of BS story that gets strung together to form a narrative about houcouldaknown, and they were looters besides.

  68. 68
    MomSense says:

    @J R in WV:

    Agent orange probably wants to buy up real estate at disaster sale prices and develop it.

  69. 69
    Jeffro says:

    @Arm The Homeless: It’s like “hint, hint” with the Orange Menace…”they didn’t take care of their stuff, and they chose to live in a hurricane-prone area, and they owe money (which has to be repaid before they get water or electricity, natch) now they think WE’re going to pay for rebuilding it…uh uh…” Jackass.

  70. 70

    @J R in WV: Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio all wrote in the Tuscan dialect, which is why modern standard Italian is derived from the 14th century Tuscan dialect. They were as notable for the quality of their work as they were for the fact that they didn’t write it in Latin. They are known as the three pillars of Italian literature.

  71. 71
    NotMax says:

    “It’s Puerto Rico, not Puerto Hondo.”

    /shorter Dolt 45 administration

  72. 72
    Tuna says:

    Don’t turn your eyes away from Houston. Flooded homes have been emptied and put on the curb for no one to pick up and take to the dump. Billions are available to be spent yet there seems to be a hold up. Appears Trump will not follow thru on another promise to get something done.

  73. 73
    Mike J says:

    AH-3 (USS Comfort) draws 26 feet. There are two channels into San Juan. 56 feet and 30 feet.

  74. 74

    @Teddys Person: Thanks to Trevor Noah, whose reaction to the clip was priceless.

    @Ian G.: The (breasts?!42!875!$!!4’t!!??111) offended me as a human being even worse than the regular blackface – and I’m a black guy. This will probably be the new Worst Thing Ever until, say, next Wednesday.

  75. 75
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, she has a helipad, etc.

    But PR is a big place. Where should she anchor? Where is the need the greatest? Just assume that it should be off San Juan? Where would the helicopters go to get people to her? What if she is needed most on the south side?

    My assumption is that Northern Command is not playing politics with this. The Navy is tasked with defending the nation and knows as much as the rest of us that the people suffering are Americans. Donnie or Javanka aren’t deciding whether or not to send the Comfort – it’s a decision farther down in the Pentagon. There is most likely a good reason why she hasn’t been sent yet. They’ve been horrible at explaining the reason, but that’s hardly surprising – communications is often a problem.

    Of course, I may be wrong, and as I said if I am I’ll be as outraged as anyone else.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  76. 76
    burnspbesq says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Tiffany Trump is, IIRC, a first-year at Georgetown Law. If the investigations drag on long enough, and if the karma gods really love us, she could end up helping to prosecute her siblings.

  77. 77
    Jeffro says:

    @rikyrah: “must be dealt with” = “we’ll keep people fed, sort of, but Wall Street/banks are first in line to get their money back and don’t you forget it.”

    Talk about revealing one’s character…

  78. 78
    noncarborundum says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Italian is just very late Latin,

  79. 79
    Mike J says:

    @noncarborundum: When I worked in Rome I was surprised how much Italian I could understand with my high school Latin.

  80. 80
    jl says:

    @Jeffro: Sort of like the Battics and Europe: they are deadbeats, and need to pay up before they get disaster aid? During the campaign Trump said he didn’t like greedy bankers…

  81. 81
    eclare says:

    @Jeffro: Someone mentioned in a morning thread that he invested in some golf resort in PR in 2008. Surprise, surprise, it went bankrupt, and the people there were left with the bill, but I wonder if POS is still pissed about that.

  82. 82

    @noncarborundum: in the same sense that, say, Spanish or Romanian are, sure. ETA Romanian is the closest living relative to Latin, yknow.

  83. 83
    burnspbesq says:

    @jl:

    During the campaign Trump said he didn’t like greedy bankers…

    He certainly doesn’t like them when they get up in his grill and ask for their money. Anyone else … tough shit.

  84. 84
    Ruckus says:

    @rikyrah:
    This entire mess has drumpf written all over it.
    They (PR) don’t have a way to pay for this so they don’t get anything. That’s classic drumpf.
    Any statements are just someone down the line making excuses so they don’t get roasted for sounding like being the biggest shithead in the world.

  85. 85
    Jeffro says:

    Whoa nellie, easy there Ms. Rampell, you’re sounding a little…shrill: ‘Reasonable’ Republicans Are Betraying Us Too

    Trump may be a toddler, we keep telling ourselves, but at least some (comparative) grown-ups on Capitol Hill are thinking things through. Maybe we don’t agree with them all the time; maybe they have a different vision for the role of government than many of us do. Still, at least a few thoughtful, moderate, principled, solutions-oriented people in the legislature are working to offset the White House’s abdication of policy leadership.

    The flaming turd that is Cassidy-Graham should disabuse us all of that notion.

    What’s been threatening the health-care coverage of tens of millions of Americans isn’t Trump. It’s the entire Republican Party.

    This garbage bill, currently looking dead but with a few days left to revive itself, should teach us two things: Republicans don’t care about process, and they don’t care about policy. You could be forgiven for also concluding, as they’ve increasingly suggested this week, that they don’t care about regular Americans, either

    YEOWCH!

  86. 86
    Jeffro says:

    @jl: Yes, well, he said a lot of things during the campaign…

  87. 87
    Mike J says:

    @Mike J: Of course the same is true of English. HS Latin comes in handy lots of places.

  88. 88
    catclub says:

    @Ruckus:

    They (PR) don’t have a way to pay for this so they don’t get anything.

    I think this, and the possibility of substantial outmigration, really complicates rebuilding the electrical grid. How much grid do you build? For how many people? Plus, who will pay for it? How will too few pay for it if the build is too big?

  89. 89
    Jeffro says:

    @rikyrah: @Ruckus:

    “Hey, you know, if they wanted electricial service that could withstand a Cat 4 – I found out it wasn’t even a Cat 5, this wasn’t even the worst that could have hit them – then they should have ponied up and paid for it, like everyone else. And now they expect us to go in, bail them out – WHEN THEY ALREADY OWE WALL STREET BIG MONEY – oh, I don’t know, folks, I don’t think so. I mean we will send them some food and stuff but they’re going to have to work this out and – most especially – get to work.”

    It’s basically what he’ll be saying tomorrow.

  90. 90
    efgoldman says:

    @jl:

    The technical logistical issues might be special in this case, though I am doubtful.
    But Ryan’s attitude tells you all you need to know.

    Tell ya’ what, Granny Starver; let’s blow up most of Janeseville. Wisconsin and see how many days/weeks to get aid in front of the house.
    Heartless, thoughtless, gormless bastard.

  91. 91
    Jeffro says:

    @Jeffro: Btw I know this is just one pundit, but later in the piece Rampell ties Flake, Sasse, and Murkowski to this “flaming turd” (and rightfully so). Iz our natshunal media lerning? Let’s hope so.

  92. 92
    Malovich says:

    Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station has made a push for a private effort – boosting the signal a bit.

    https://www.facebook.com/Stonekettle?hc_ref=ARRRstqe4BcL79AgU50ywRGqblDYQWeWnxgQFuOsviBrBo5LJVQ_U1-AC4CDgMMP3Lw&fref=nf

    He’s got a crew, a plane and a plan. Latest update indicated that he’s taken it as far as he can; but I just wanted to put out a bit of humanitarian relief from the current news cycle.

  93. 93
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @debbie: If Mattis is intervening, we would likely not hear about it. That would be necessary for his intervention to be effective with any president, but particularly with Trump. And even when it’s in private, Trump seems to prefer to do the opposite of what is recommended to prove nobody is the boss of him.

  94. 94
    Corner Stone says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Woah, woah, woah. Are you just trying to summon a crankypants Omnes?

  95. 95
    Jeffro says:

    @efgoldman:

    Tell ya’ what, Granny Starver; let’s blow up most of Janeseville. Wisconsin and see how many days/weeks to get aid in front of the house.

    Or just ask him what happened last time a major appliance in his house blew up…the hardships they had to endure when a dishwasher took a week to be replaced (delivered and installed by others of course). To say nothing of the fact that they had the dough on hand to just order up a new dishwasher, instead of being dirt poor and NOT ordering one.

    Then, Speaker Ryan, multiply that agony you endured times eleven billion, and you’ll be getting close to what PR’s going through. Maybe more like forty billion.

  96. 96
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: I know exactly what the US response was for Japan and why. The woman who coordinated is my former student. And I am very, very proud of her for her excellent work.

  97. 97

    @Corner Stone: maybe I just like Latin facts, you don’t know me.

  98. 98
    RobertDSC-Mac Mini says:

    She doesn’t stay anywhere long as she’s one of only two of her kind in the fleet. So there’s often demand

    Too bad we can’t build more of these ships rather than the bullshit F-35.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: Yep, there will always be a certain amount of uncertainty. And right now the Russians are busy trying to enflame folks over the kneel during the anthem is an affront to the troops schtick. The bots be busy.

  100. 100
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: I would expect it to as well. However, I have a feeling that the majority of his attention right now is on North Korea. And, ultimately, this is a decision to be made by the Chief of Naval Operations. Not the SecDef. Though Mattis could certainly give him a nudge.

  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Repatriated: The Pacific is a big ocean. It was hard to find the Vinson on that itty bitty globe in the Oval Office…

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott:

    Where should she anchor? Where is the need the greatest? Just assume that it should be off San Juan? Where would the helicopters go to get people to her? What if she is needed most on the south side?

    I am an army guy, but I am rather under the impression that ships can move. My uncle who was a navy guy used to say so, but he was kind of a bullshit artist (in a good way).

  103. 103
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That is true.

  104. 104
    Shalimar says:

    The simplest explanation for not sending the Comfort is that it’s a direct order from Trump. Hillary Clinton tweeted that we should send it, and he’s not going to do what she says.

  105. 105
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. :-/

    The point I was trying to make, but obviously failed, is that a ship (like an airplane) usually doesn’t leave port unless it knows exactly where it’s going. Having it go one place when it’s needed another wastes time, wastes fuel, wastes resources, and doesn’t help anyone. Having it sit off-shore where it can’t be effectively used isn’t a good use for it, either. (They’re evacuating people for medical care already even without the Comfort being there.) . If things like that are the reason, and it’s temporary until an effective route to it can be cobbled together, then fine.

    Who knows if it’s still the case, but the Comfort had leadership issues in the past.

    We’ll have a better idea of what’s going on with the Comfort wrt Puerto Rico in the next few days. I hope….

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  106. 106
    Mike in NC says:

    The people who live in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico simply aren’t rich enough or white enough for Trump to care about. He’s planning a white power rally in Kentucky right now.

  107. 107
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And right now the Russians are busy trying to enflame folks over the kneel during the anthem is an affront to the troops schtick.

    Out of curiosity, how do you know this? E.g. observation and a good intuition for distinguishing bots from humans, or something else?

  108. 108
    NorthLeft12 says:

    Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars…. …owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. – Deadbeat Donald

    I picked this out of the WaPo story. It might be a little out of context, but can someone explain how this even matters when you have over three million people, I mean AMERICANS, without power, food, water, and a large portion of those without shelter either? Paying off the vultures who contributed to Puerto Rico’s financial mess should not be in the top twenty things to do for PR right now.

  109. 109
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: Yes, but I also monitor this stuff and those who are formally monitoring it (so I don’t have to). Click over and read all four tweets:

    Here’s the link to the dashboard:
    http://dashboard.securingdemocracy.org/

  110. 110
    Another Scott says:

    @Bill Arnold: Not Adam (I’m sure he’s relieved!) but Cheryl pointed us to – http://dashboard.securingdemocracy.org/ – a Russian bot tracker thingy. Maybe he’s using something like that.

    HTH.

    [eta:] I swear Adam’s post above wasn’t there when I started this reply…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  111. 111
    heckblazer says:

    @Elizabelle: According to Google, the Carnival Fascination (which stops at San Juan) has a draft of 27 feet 7 inches while the USNS Comfort has a draft of 33 feet (it’s a converted super-tanker).

  112. 112
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: My point was that if it is stationed off the coast of PR, it is in a better position to help than if is docked someplace in the US. You didn’t fail to make your point. I disagreed with your point. Getting to the southern side of PR is faster if the ship is anchored on the northern side than it is if it is dock in VA or where ever. I really don’t see how this is debatable.

  113. 113
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: Eye see you…

  114. 114
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The Comfort is in the best position to help when it is prepared to get to where its needed via the most direct route. It saves time, fuel, costs, etc. If it’s needed on the south side, then having it go to San Juan first increases costs and delays getting it where it’s needed.

    Achenbach at WaPo:

    Prominent Democrats, while not directly criticizing the Trump administration, offered pointed advice. Hillary Clinton on Twitter urged the Navy to send in the relief ship USNS Comfort — which instead is docked in Norfolk, sidelined because the Navy does not believe the compromised ports in the islands can handle the big ship right now.

    […]

    However, officials leading the response and recovery admit they’re facing serious logistical challenges, starting with damage to the ports and airports. Many of those facilities have been reopened just within the past day or two, but only for daytime operations, because of safety concerns. Radar and control tower capabilities are low, limiting the pace of incoming flights.

    For people on the islands, help is arriving glacially. In interviews, some have questioned why there’s so little sign, or no sign at all, of government agencies.

    Cellphone service is coming back in some places, but it is spotty. The lack of information, and the inability to travel on interior roads blocked by debris and fallen trees, has meant ongoing fear for the well-being of loved ones in inaccessible places.

    “How are we supposed to receive help if no one knows we are here?” said Lisandra Alicea, tearing up as she carried a grocery bag filled with juice, crackers, toilet paper and batteries, hoping to make it through the debris-clogged roads to visit her mother in the small mountain barrio of Hayales. She hadn’t heard from her mother since communications failed as Maria blew in on Wednesday.

    “Please, you have to tell people that we are here, that we exist,” she told a reporter. “We are like the forgotten community.”

    […]

    Thomas LaCrosse, the Pentagon’s director of defense support to civil authorities, said U.S. officials discussed deploying the USNS Comfort to Puerto Rico over the weekend but decided that it should stay in Norfolk because it could not get close enough to any port to avoid using helicopter support to get patients to and from the ship. It made more sense, he said, to bring medical support into Puerto Rico by U.S. military aircraft, such as C-17 cargo jets.

    Pressed on why the Comfort and Lincoln were not sent, LaCrosse said the Puerto Rican government did not request them.

    “We have great capability, but we cannot send it unless the state — or in this case territorial — government asks for it,” he said.

    Finger pointing? Bad comms? Lack of experience? Maybe all of the above.

    It’s horrible and much more needs to be done. But it’s not surprising there are serious problems ramping up the response – the devastation is gigantic…

    :-(

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  115. 115
    Fair Economist says:

    @catclub:

    I have considered learning Italian to read Dante in the original.

    I learned a little Italian for a trip to Italy two years ago. I tried reading Dante, and it was very difficult, but even with my smattering I could tell –
    Dante is a h*ll of a good poet. Also terza rima is the bomb. Two bad English isn’t well suited for it.

  116. 116
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott:

    The Comfort is in the best position to help when it is prepared to get to where its needed via the most direct route. It saves time, fuel, costs, etc. If it’s needed on the south side, then having it go to San Juan first increases costs and delays getting it where it’s needed.

    Fine. Give me the argument for not deploying her to a point from which she can go to where she is needed most? Putting her on scene speeds should speed things up. My experience in the military was that having needed things nearby was better than not having needed thing nearby.

  117. 117
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Wag: Why do you assume that Puerto Rico doesn’t make a significant contribution to the US economy? There are more people there than over 1/3 of the States in the US!

  118. 118
    Aimai says:

    @Another Scott: no. Nothing wrong with symbols. Doesn’t stop a competent administratiin from doing what needs to be done. and an incompetent one will keep on rolling no matter what. But something will have been done despite their incompetence.

  119. 119

    @catclub: On an old episode of “Northern Exposure,” Ruth Ann was doing that for just that reason! Turned out Shelly, of all people, spoke Italian. She of course had no interest in Dante.

  120. 120
    Vhh says:

    @Ian G.: As will this hurricane. The US took and has kept Puerto Rico by force. If we won’t take care of them now, those people will move to the mainland or stay and support a mass independence and there will be a crisis. The shitgibbon always makes things worse.

  121. 121
    Czanne says:

    @Elizabelle: There’s a chance that San Juan’s cruise ship slip needs to be dredged. It’s a small chance, but it’s there. But “doesn’t fit” is absolute bullshit. The Comfort is slightly smaller (beam, draft and length) than the Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. Whose home port is… wait for it… San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    Now, San Juan took a hit, but it’s on the south side of the island, so my bet is the harbor did okay. Well enough that a Seabee crew could have it dredged to passable within a couple weeks.

    Which is absolutely going to be necessary, no matter what. It will take more than a couple months to rebuild. This isn’t just about Puerto Rico — the entire Caribbean took four direct hits. The entire region needs a hospital that’s up and running and ready to go. Yeah, it’s going to use a lot of fuel and it might not be docked and on shore to ship power. Darn. They may be using air ambulances rather than ground based for a few weeks. Well, shit, that’s just the rules of this engagement. Yes, it sucks to move a ship. That’s like saying I’m going to let my house burn because the fire extinguisher makes a mess.

    @Another Scott: As for the leadership issues: look closely at that. The prior (male) CO was removed for incompetence. His XO (female) was doing his job and hers for a couple years. When she became CO, she didn’t immediately replace an XO. Most of the “communication issues” sound like butt-hurt manbabies whining about a woman in charge. So… I’d take that report with a horse-sized saltlick. Glass ceiling.

    I think my biggest issue is not that the ship hasn’t deployed, but the absolute awfulness of communication. Everyone in this admin is consistently gaslighting, hoping that bullshit will get the reporter to go away.

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