|Joep Bertrams, a Dutch political cartoonist, offers this harsh assessment of President Trump's dispute with African-American pro football players who kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks.|
|Freelance editorial cartoonist Milt Priggee shows Trump carrying a football with the message "Get those sons of bitches off the field," and suggests a title, "RUNNING OF THE ...." To complete it, add "BULL," as in bullshit.|
EDITOR'S NOTE: This post has been updated with the war of words between President Trump and the mayor of San Juan, P.R., who says people are dying on her hurricane-ravaged island.
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Yet, Trump has been insisting officials in Puerto Rico have praised him for the federal recovery effort.
"Everybody has said it's amazing, the job we've done in Puerto Rico," Trump declared at one press conference this week. "We're very proud of it."
The New Yorker magazine asked, "How far away is Puerto Rico from Donald Trump's perspective?"
Trump -- sounding like a 5-year-old looking up at a huge wall map of the Caribbean -- said, "This is an island sitting in the middle of the ocean. And it's a big ocean, it's a very big ocean."
He added you can't "drive trucks" there.
At the same time, reporters on the island interviewed officials who beg for more help from the Trump administration.
Not 'good news'
For example, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz was incensed after a U.S. Homeland Security official described the recovery effort as a "really good news story" in terms of the limited number of deaths.
"This is, dammit, not a good news story," Ms. Cruz said on CNN. "This is a 'people are dying' story. This is a 'life or death' story.... This is a story of devastation that continues to worsen."
Of course, Trump lashed out at her, accusing her of "poor leadership."
Few reporters have noted that Trump's indifference to the suffering of 3.5 million Puerto Ricans -- as well as residents of the devastated Virgin Islands -- is directly related to their being U.S. citizens who don't have a voting representative in Congress and who cannot vote for president.
Tax break for wealthy
Now, Trump has already moved on to his so-called tax-reform initiative, which he calls "revolutionary."
"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity," he said, in another one of those little sound bites filled with a big lie.
For one thing, Americans would no longer be able to deduct local property taxes or income taxes they pay to their state.
This would really slam New Jersey residents, who pay the highest property taxes in the nation.
But reporters who cover Trump sit there silently, taking notes or recording his inane comments for those maddening TV and radio sound bites designed to incense us.
|Cartoonist R.J. Matson shows survivors of Hurricane Maria wondering when Trump will focus on the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico.|
At my local daily newspaper, The Record of Woodland Park, Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson was determined to put a positive spin on Trump's tax plan.
But his lead paragraph on Page 1 today listed only three pluses:
"Working poor people could owe no income tax, filing a return could get much simpler and there would even be a new credit for caring for elderly relatives...."
In other words, you're screwed under Trump's proposal if you're not working and poor, you don't file your own tax forms, and your parents are dead.
Also on the front page today, Staff Writer Monsy Alvarado, one of the few reporters in the newsroom who speaks fluent Spanish, managed to interview "several" New Jersey residents concerned about the safety of relatives in Puerto Rico.
For some reason, Alvarado didn't interview any of the thousands of Mexican-Americans who live in the city of Passaic after two major earthquakes hit Mexico this month, killing hundreds of people.
A story on 4A today appears under this awkwardly written headline:
"Chaos snarls aid
in Puerto Rico"
On Wednesday's front page, readers were told:
"Puerto Rico faces
long road to recovery"
"Power, overtaxed federal
aid among many hurdles"
Tesla helps island
One of the companies helping to restore power in Puerto Rico is Tesla, the California-based maker of all-electric, zero-emissions luxury cars.
The company is sending hundreds of Powerwall battery systems that store energy generated by solar panels, and Tesla employees are helping to install them.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk also has personally donated $250,000 to the relief effort.
Also on Wednesday, the overwhelmingly older readers of the print edition of The Record stared in disbelief at photos of a couple the Better Living editors hold out as experts on the local food scene.
Ryan Konrad, 25, and his girlfriend, Candice Barrett, 23, are millennials who list Callahan's in Norwood as one of their three favorite restaurants.
Callahan's, which is infamous for deep frying low-quality hot dogs, serves the kind of food many older readers avoid at all costs.
On Tuesday, Page 1 carried a Mike Kelly column on African-American pro football players who are protesting police brutality against blacks by kneeling during the national anthem.
The column was labeled "commentary," but if you slogged through his long and tedious recap of events the only opinions expressed are from the war veterans he interviewed.
Kelly himself doesn't have a word to say about Trump calling the athletes "sons of bitches" or whether he thinks the Black Lives Matter protests are credible.
The reporter, who has been banging out a Record column for about 25 years, is an apologist for Trump's divisive policies, and a critic of Barack Obama, our first black president, and Hillary Clinton.