Trump Honors Only One Victim in Puerto Rico: Himself

The president sees the accepted death toll of nearly 3,000 as evidence of a political conspiracy against him.


Comments: 216

  1. Trump's tweets incriminate himself.

    "6-18 deaths" when he was there were from the storm itself; that means 2957 were preventable deaths from lack of food, water, electricity and medicine - entirely his responsibility.

    His tweet:
    "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000.."

  2. " .. To be sure, the recovery effort, after a slow start, wound up being substantial, and Puerto Rico’s shoddy infrastructure was one of many extenuating challenges .."

    Oh .. 1,000 ocean miles from Miami is a "challenge?"

    Fifty years ago, it would have been similar to a death march.

    Y'all mostly ignored BHO for eight years .. and haven't give "Not Hillary" one week of peace, since the election. DJT can't say "good morning," without being blamed for "too much sun" due to "global warming."

    We know where you're at, you're not newsworthy, you're 99% predictable.

  3. @BabyBlue
    I heard last night on the news that when Trump left Puerto Rico, the death toll was already up to something like 68, so even his "6 to 18 deaths" doesn't pass muster (someday, he will say that nobody died).

  4. These tweets are alone sufficient evidence to remove Trump from office using the 25th Amendment. Trump clearly has no connection to reality, and we will now see whether his supporters are similarly affected.

  5. Agree. But I think the founders of Twitter will one day be considered similar to the amoral scientists, who gave us atomic weaponry and nuclear power in their quest to invent regardless of the consequences.

  6. @Don Terndrup

    The reality is that 63 million Americans plus Fox News, the Wall Strerr Journal, Julian Assange, James Comey, Benjamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin wanted and still want him to be President of the United States.

  7. @Don Terndrup
    Trump supporters are on board for the duration of the Trump fun-house rave presidency. He’s their “Dude” and they’re his cult. On his mad tea party ride “things fall apart the centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed....”

  8. Echoing statements in Bob Woodward's new book, Donald Trump doesn't know the difference between the truth or falsehoods. Neither exist in his mind.

    Trump truly does exist in a world where him winning is the only reality. He can't be bothered with facts. Any facts that prove him wrong are completely false. Any facts that measure his accomplishments are also tossed aside because they limit his greatness. Trump's accomplishments are without bound. He isn't just good, he is the best that ever was. The economy is the best ever. No president has ever accomplished more than him. The Russia thing is all made up lies. North Korea is turning over their nukes. Now, add in the more than 5000 lies he has uttered since his inauguration.

    Looking at the situation as it pertains to Puerto Rico and the past two years, there is only one conclusion that can be drawn. Which is, Donald Trump is mentally unsound. The legal definition of insanity with regard to committing crimes is did the accused understand that his actions were wrong. In other words, have they lost their grip on reality. Here we have a president who doesn't understand the difference between the truth and falsehoods. That is very close to completely disconnecting from reality. Donald Trump may not be legally insane, but he is very close to insanity and moving closer with each crisis.

  9. @Bruce Rozenblit

    So what?

    In the 2016 Preidential election 63 million Americans voted for Trump delivering him a meaningful Electoral College victory. Being a natural born citizen and at least 35 years old is all that is required to become POTUS.

    The real truth is that Trump is our one and only President. And lying and telling tales is not grounds for removal nor impeachment. Instead of malice aforethought perhaps Trump is just ignorant, immature, immoral, incompetent, intemperate and insecure. If Trump can't accept or discern reality what does that mean?

  10. Three thousand deaths and it's a conspiracy against him? Okay. I guess these people died to make him look like a bad president because the Democrats asked them to die for just that reason. It wasn't because of a hurricane or its aftermath. Just like the "fact" that his inauguration attracted more people than Obama's did. And let's not forget that the NY Times and CNN are reporting fake news.

    Trump has a difficult life. Everyone lies about him. Every event is about him. He's persecuted, prosecuted, and victimized at every moment of every day. It's a wonder that he can get out of bed in the morning to deal with the business of running the country. Oh, that's right, he's running it into the ground so we don't have to.

    I've heard of and met my share of self centered spoiled brats but Trump takes the cake. I can't decide if he means it, is putting on act, or what. But I see the results and Trump is not fit to be president of anything. That the GOP continues to support him says more about their needs than it does about him. That is truly frightening.

  11. What bothers me most is the lack of response (with a few exceptions) of Republicans. once again. Democrats criticized Obama, Republicans criticized Bush. This is not normal. It is also dangerous because it leaves all of us vulnerable to an unreliable President who is not checked by the legislature, as the constitution intended.

  12. @ vthornton The Republicans who are not Trumpicans are being quiet to avoid turning The Prima Donald's base against them and trying to get some work done in the face of his daily temper tantrums. We have elected a President who never left the terrible two's.

  13. @ vthornton And, Trump and the GOP are subverting the courts with partisan picks, which is an even more insidious subversion of the Constitution's checks and balances. Remember, some positions are lifetime appointments, including the Supreme Court.

    But, that's been the GOP plan for decades. Whittle away at the bedrock of the union, sub rosa as well as right in our faces. Worse, we now see it is not even for true ideological purposes, but purely to stay in power permanently, reap big donor dollars, and turn this democracy into an oligarchy in democratic clothing. It's getting there already; Trump just might allow them to apply the coup de grace if we're not careful. Heed John McCain.

  14. @ vthornton The republican party has become a crime syndicate accepting money from the russians and large donors for the sole purpose of retaining power.

  15. This is only 1 out of dozens upon dozens of legitimate reasons to impeach him. Yet, we keep talking about him like he is the problem. The problem is a Republican majority Congress who will not act to stop this disaster of a Presidency.

    FEMA dollars were diverted to separate and imprison immigrant children away from their parents to carry out his cruel and inhumane executive order.

    We need an amendment that holds a President accountable for criminal liability and allows them to be Federally indicted. How can we drain the swamp of corruption if government officials in all branches are not held accountable? Preventing accountability is guaranteeing corruption.

  16. The tragedy of all this is the Republican Congress and those that surround him are silent. Not a one to rebut him. And it will only get worse.

    As we get closer to election in November with Trumps mind faltering, he acts more and more like a wounded and cornered animal. He'll strike out at anyone and everything. He has no upper limit on evil actions.

  17. “ The Democrats are doing this to make me look bad “. NO.
    Trump doesn’t need ANY help to look bad. In that narrow circumstance, He is an entirely self-made “ man “.
    Seriously.

  18. Of course, he doesn't know about disasters and never will. Pointless to bring it up. We know who he is, and it doesn't matter what he says: the Republicans use him to further their agenda. I know papers need to be sold but these articles preach to the choir.

  19. I am so frightened and ashamed that we have this lying, selfish, unhinged person as a supposed "leader." It's past time to stand up and DEMAND that our government representatives, who, in fact, work for us, promote OUR best interests, not those of corporations. We need to force congress and the executive branch to spend our tax dollars as we want them spent; not on war machines, not on cages for children, not on tax breaks to make the rich even richer, but on environmental protection, universal healthcare, pensions, education and compassionate care of the less fortunate among us.

  20. @Leslie McBride

    Many of your fellow citizens have been hoping for a really long time that Kentucky voters were stand up en masse and relieve both of your U.S. Senators of their jobs.

    Removing Mitch McConnell from the Senate would be a benefit and blessing to the entire country.

  21. 60% or more of the population believe he's dishonest. So is he lying when he says this? There really are no words for this disgrace of a human, let alone a leader. How much lower can he go?

  22. So, what's different about this story from the thousands preceding it . . . Something bad happens, people are hurt one way or another, Trump claims he is the victim when criticised for his stupidity, inaction, lies or corruption and attacks everyone in sight?

    What happened in Puerto Rico last year was terrible and it is unacceptable that the highest elected official in America could not bring his administration to mount an adequate and appropriate response to the disaster, nor find even a sliver of respect and empathy for the victims. I hope preparedness for this year's rounds of storms is adequate, but have no illusion Trump's behaviour will be.

  23. "Democrats don’t need to lift a finger to make him look bad. He is managing that all on his own."

    Unfortunately, too many Americans don't see what he's doing as bad. They listen to his lies, especially the ones about how everyone else is lying to make him look bad, and they agree. Even when he admits that he lies, they still back him.

    I'm really not sure what it is going to take for his base to wake up to what they elected. Even when he does things against their own interests - like start a trade war with China - they still support him.

  24. For a man who watches so much TV, someone needs to screen him The Seinfeld episode “The Opposite” where George comes to the realization that only by doing the opposite of what he instinctively thinks is right will he ever have any chance of success.

    It’s worth a shot.

  25. Once again, Donald Trump's comments only serve to show just how out of touch he is with reality to even think that only "6-18 deaths" were the result of one of the most powerful hurricanes in recent history, and then blaming the more updated and realistic number of over 3,000 casualities on Democrats in a deliberate attempt to besmirch him.
    To be sure, no amount of Trump's grandstanding or promises to do a better job with Hurricane Florence will ever erase the memory of his berating of San Juan's Mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz, or tossing paper towels to people as though that would immediately solve the island's problems
    It also won't bring back those thousands who lost their lives.
    So, no. This is not a 'politcal conspiracy'.
    This is a crime against humanity.

  26. Trump is finding it difficult to grasp that others are questioning his Hurricane Relief by Paper Towel Toss insufficient. The American people have watched him these last 19 months respond to every issue and circumstance only as a reflection of himself. What a sad, pathetic, delusional man he is.

  27. If Trump agrees to debate during the 2020 campaign, the Democratic nominee can speak volumes without uttering a word.

    The Democratic nominee can simply hold up a list of the hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.

    The Democratic nominee can simply play a tape of children crying in detention centers.

    The Democratic nominee can simply play a tape of Trump saying that there were very fine people on both sides.

    Then, simply hold up a copy of the NYT Op Ed and all of America can watch how unhinged he really is as he stomps about the stage in an unfettered rage.

    Never has a more shameful person been the leader of a democracy.

  28. @John
    Yes, and it was chilling to watch him stalk Clinton at the third debate in an attempt to intimidate her. I don't want to wait that long! 2020 is too far away. Soldier on, Mr. Mueller and Mr. Rosenstein--Godspeed.

  29. I basically flipped out over Trump and Sessions' solution of deterring asylum seekers by yanking their children (including babies and toddlers) away from their parents at the border, putting them in cages, fanning these children out across the country to foster care and institutions, and quickly deporting these parents whose children were taken from them.

    In the wake of the Trump-made trauma for these children and their families, Trump has acted totally unconcerned, callous, and cruel by having no interest in reuniting these children with their parents.

    So, no surprise that Trump engaged in his usual cold-hearted, pathological lying by denying the thousands of deaths that occurred in Puerto Rico, falsely claiming only 16 or so deaths occurred, and then having the gaul to claim his handling of the Puerto Rican hurricane disaster was a huge success.

    I heard a number of interviews of the abandoned Puerto Rican residents and officials on NPR, and Trump's neglect of these human beings was shameful. But we will never catch Trump feeling shame or guilt.

    Trump is a sick man, but maybe even sicker are the Republicans and Trump supporters that not only refuse to criticize him but cheer him on.

    If you are disgusted with Trump's behavior, then show it by voting in November and giving both Trump and the GOP a dose of reality by showing your rejection for such inhumane treatment of human beings. Show the world and each other, This is NOT who we are as Americans.

  30. @PB Anybody without a lot of money is a loser to Trump. Anybody with a lot of money is a winner. He only back winner. Have you noticed?

  31. Even sicker than those cheering the President on are those ace and fema people willingly following his evil scripts.

  32. The further Mr. Trump praises himself with his lies of the "low" death toll of 18 deaths in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria, the lower his approval ratings go.

    The 2,957 figure is the best estimate calculated by the George Washington University's Milken Institute of School of Public Health after careful surveys and subtracting for the normal death rates from previous years. In May, the New England Journal of Medicine estimated a range of 793 to 8,498 deaths, with a midpoint of 4,645 deaths. One has to remember that the true number of deaths took many months to tabulate due to the delays in filing and recording of the death certificates. This was caused by the extended power outages and overall disruption of the local government agencies in Puerto Rico.

    Even if the death toll in Puerto Rico was not exactly 2,957, it is certainly much, much higher than 18.

    This is just one more Trump lie that his shrinking base will blindly believe while the rest of the country knows the real truth. As Mr. Trump would tweet: Sad.

  33. @nkda2000

    The way Trump uses that three-letter word is ruining it for situations that really are sad.

  34. When you have an utterly corrupted soul, or no soul at all, this is how you behave. We have been witnessing the most tragic consequences of an electorate with little to no political awareness and an electorate that is not interested in facts. The piper is being paid as we speak and we are all suffering the consequences.

  35. Next we'll hear that the hurricane was actually created by hate-filled Democrats still sore about there massive election loss, and that all those Puerto Rican's actually committed suicide in order to make Donald Trump look bad.

    And, in case you didn't know, I heard that World War II was actually all about Donald Trump. Don't think so? Just ask him.

  36. Each time I read of trump's latest self-aggrandizing lie, I wonder... are his devotees growing tired of him too?

    At some point in the story, the boy who cried wolf was eaten.

  37. @Seattleite58

    "Each time I read of trump's latest self-aggrandizing lie, I wonder... are his devotees growing tired of him too?"

    Most of them aren't but some of them are, if his falling approval ratings mean anything.

  38. Very sad!

  39. The Republicans have broken America.

  40. @Jake News
    They're too busy counting their money to care about America.

  41. @Jake News

    Trump was elected President, he continues to have the support of millions of Americans, as do Republicans in general, impeachment is out of the question based on facts known today, too many Americans would simply not stand for it, and with what consequences, who knows, but they would be a crisis. If America is broken, the responsibility for it goes much deeper than the politicians.

  42. And blamed the Democrats for it.

  43. All I have to say is I wouldn't want a guy like Donny boy watching my back under any circumstance. Just hope no major disaster (natural or human) befalls you, or your family. You can rest assured no help will be on the way.

  44. By now, most of us have accepted - some perhaps grudgingly, that we have an incompetent, self-centered, buffoon for a president. He is ugly in deed, thought, and actions. We have tried not to use insulting words to describe him and his behavior due to respect for the office of Presidency of the United States. But there comes a time in history when we just have to call a spade a spade and hope/work for his removal through the course of justice or elections. Otherwise history will judge us all for our inaction.

  45. Give Trump some credit, please! He threw a roll of paper towels to them! AND he DIDN'T play golf while he was. (I don't think so, anyway) Hail to the Chief!

  46. I hope all Trump supporters take note that the only victim he acknowledges wasn't even on the island during Maria!

  47. For Donald Trump to blame Democrats for the death toll in Puerto Rico is a shameless politicization of a tragedy. The bottom line is that he really doesn't care about the individuals who died, and he certainly won't accept any responsibility for these deaths. Disgusting excuse for a man.

  48. @Alan from Humboldt County

    Well said.

  49. I don't know about everyone else, but I'm getting burn-out from the ongoing denials and flagrant lies...

  50. @BD
    Hang in there, and VOTE.

  51. @BD

    Then take a vacation from Trump news. But not a long one, as our local think tanker suggested. Just a few days. Then, if a bombshell is dropped, you won't have so much catching up to do. I was on a Trump vacation when 45 said those amazing things at Helsinki. I got back on track after a few days, after I got an email asking if this isn't what we have the 25th Amendment for.

  52. ...somehow, some way--isn't Hillary to blame for what happened in Puerto Rico? Surely Mrs. Clinton can be made responsible for this, too.

  53. @Mark: No, it was clearly Obama's fault.

  54. @Mark I can't believe he has not yet dragged her and Obama into the Maria disaster.

  55. @Mark

    Don't worry: Trey Gowdy is probably working on that at this very minute.

  56. It's what he does best and his republican friends like it. This is the reality we're stuck in unless Americans get involved and do something. Do some work for your favorite local candidate to flip the house and senate. It's easy work. Join your local Indivisible group!!! Until then, we have no check and balance system in place and it feels very uncomfortable. Let's fix this mess! Call, write, walk, support your good candidates!

  57. My greatest fear for the United States and her citizens is the knowledge that we may have two more years of his denials, self-aggrandizement, lies, more lies, and even more lies. How much more of this can we take? I am worn out. Please, everyone, VOTE. It is your privilege! Don't think your vote doesn't matter. It does. Our Founding Fathers were no angels, and even Mssrs. Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Bushes, Reagan, Carter, Clinton and Obama had their faults, but this man is unworthy to even scrap the soles of his shoes on the Oval Office doormat from the Rose Garden, yet he sits there for photo-ops and make comments like 'tremendously big, tremendously wet.' Again, VOTE. It may make a difference that we can all live with.

  58. @Ellen Your greatest fear should be that we may have SIX more years. I don't see a Democrat who can beat him.

  59. @Ellen I agree wholeheartedly. Voting is not just a privilege that we are lucky enough to have, but given how many have died to sustain this privilege, it is the responsibility of each of us to exercise that right--so that it isn't taken away! That includes fighting gerrymandered districts, restrictions of voting rights, the whole thing.

    VOTE as if your lives depend upon it--because they do!

  60. A shameful man. Every solemn occasion-a hurricane, a funeral, a memorial is an excuse to whine. Even if he were being treated unfairly, which he isn't, the job of a President to is to suck it up. Mr. Trump chose to run for the office, rather than remain on his fake "reality" TV show, He is incapable of performing the basic functions of a Head of State, healing and binding up the wounds, not pumping up his own ego.

    And any thinking person only had to look at the pictures of utter devastation at multiple locations on the island to know that the death toll was far higher than the original estimates.

  61. @le And all those who voted for him and continue to support him are equally shameful. I wonder how they will explain this to their children and grandchildren.

  62. His insecurity matches that of his supporters.

  63. Yes, always, Trump is the victim. He blames everyone for all his failings, and hasn't once taken personal responsibility in his seventy years. This is who he is.

    But more importantly, this is who Trump's voters are. Like him, they see their shortcomings as the fault of others, usually those "brown people". Never once do they think that many brown skinned citizens have worked a lot harder than they have, to get into good universities and pursue higher paying professions. Instead, Trump voters refuse to accept responsibility for their own failure to work as hard as some of their darker skinned neighbors, and believe that something was "taken" from them.

    Why does this matter regarding Puerto Rico? Because it is absolutely clear that the reason Trump didn't help our fellow citizens on that island is that they are darker skinned. Had the majority of them been whites, the money would have been pouring out of the White House.

    And too, his supporters don't want him to help those "other" people, who, for some inexplicable reason believe Puerto Ricans are less entitled to the benefits of citizenship than are Trump voters.

    And therein lies the victimhood. Any time a community of whites suffers, such as with the opioid crisis, all of a sudden our nation must open its coffers and help them. But if a natural disaster occurs, not caused by anyone's behavior in Puerto Rico, well, those folks are on their own.

    It always comes down to race with Trump and his voters. Every. Single. Time.

  64. @Cooper Hawkes

    Spot on.

  65. @Cooper Hawkes
    The only objection I have to this is the part about the opioid crisis. Trump and repubs have talked about the need to open up the coffers, but have actually done very little to nothing. Trump and the repubs are really only interested in helping the very rich. His supporters are just being played.

  66. @Cooper Hawkes
    You are right it is a kind of racism, but it doesn't matter how light the skin of a person of Hispanic origin, they are regarded as the "other" due to perceived cultural differences (mostly sterotypes).

  67. Trump is a desperately sick man. But his is a willful sickness, born from his unrelenting narcissistic arrogance in remaining willfully ignorant of the world around him.

    Without his father's money, he would be in a home somewhere, dribbling, and muttering incoherences to an unlistening audience.

    It's long past time to forget the man. The rest of the world has already moved on. America will now have to play catch-up, like a child held back a year. Or four.

  68. @James Devlin Our country will be more like a prisoner reentering society after four years. Not very successful most of the time.

  69. @James Devlin

    The Russians haven't moved on. He is still a useful tool to divide and weaken this country. Once that value is gone, I suspect, due to his significant debt to the Russian Mafia, he and possibly his family will have a mysterious death by poisoning.

  70. I hope at the mid term election, voters will remember his response to this terrible disaster. Not 16 or 64 but over 3,000 people have died and all he could do at the time was to toss paper towels into the audience. After Hurricane Florence, will he go and visit the victims and toss paper towels to them?

  71. @Martha White
    Are you kidding? Trump will make a big show about the people he really cares about by glad-handing away in front of the TV news cameras.

  72. Thank you NY Times for keeping the focus on PR as the anniversary of Irma passes and the anniversary of Maria approaches.

  73. @Susan
    You are so correct!

    Has any American president abandoned thousands of citizens before, especially in their times of life threatening need?!

  74. What was it that Rex Tillerson called the president, again?

  75. The death toll in Puerto Rico from the devastation of Hurricane Maria is very sad. The president's remarks are offensive to the families of victims, easily shown to be false by the facts, and lacking in empathy and common decency. These deaths have been verified independently, and were caused by the lack of power, fresh water, and medical care as a result of the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico.

  76. @Sally
    His remarks are offensive to MOST of us!

    He is our SERVANT! He serves US.

    He needs to get on board with that job description.

    His #1 responsibility to is to keep us safe, and acknowledge how many of us are in danger, suffer, die of tragedy.

  77. Thanks for stating the facts of why it happened.

  78. @Sally
    Long story short, Trump killed three thousand people in Puerto Rico due to his neglect.
    Republicans, by their lack of censure, have made themselves complicit in these deaths.
    A few deaths in Benghazi, and republicans held hearings for years.
    Three thousand dead in Puerto Rico, not a single inquiry.
    Shameful!

  79. Trump calling Puerto Rico a success is, possibly, worse than Alex Jones' conspiracy theory that called Sandy Hook shooting a staged, fake tragedy.

  80. @NMS

    No. While it’s bad, nothing is as bad as Alex Jones calling the Sandy Hook tragedy fake. People went out to harass the poor parents who lost their children at Sandy Hook. Nothing is as awful as that.

  81. Florida politicians are expressing dismay with Trump's words because of the state's large Puerto Rican voting bloc. Otherwise, no one much cares about these deaths. The reason is that these poor folks had brown skins and lived far away in a barely disguised American colony mainly valued for its strategic location. The death of 3000 white Houstonians as a result of the Texas hurricane, on the other hand, would have produced a raging scandal.

    The Puerto Ricans might want to explore possible pathways to independence while opening up discreet conversations with the Chinese. A deal that trades a coastal military base site for massive infrastructure investment might prove attractive to both sides.

  82. @woofer

    Many of us would welcome Puerto Rico as a State with 2 United States Senators and 5 Congressional Representatives (based on population) to help restore sanity to Congress.

  83. @woofer

    That the influx of Puerto Ricans in Florida is creating a bigger and bluer voting bloc is poetic justice. Gov. Rick Scott and other Republicans are right to worry. But Scott, at least, knows that Republican rule is in trouble. He is not in the same impregnable bubble that encloses Trump.

  84. Narcissism is a recognized personality disorder characterized by delusions of grandeur and lies.

  85. @W.A. Spitzer Trump is way beyond narcissism. A study of leading psychiatrists purporting to rank US presidents by their narcissism had LBJ, JFK and Teddy Roosevelt in the top 5. There is much more going on or not going on inside Trump's head than narcissism.

  86. What's frightening is that we face at least another two years of denial of climate change when every day takes us closer to effects that may not be reversible. We are seeing more frequent, deadlier storms like this but the Trump Administration claims it's all a "hoax." Trump won't be around to see what our world will become in 2100 but many children born today will. They will wonder why didn't we do more to stop it.

  87. @Tom Rostock When Obama gave China a pass to INCREASE emissions until 2030, he too was effectively denying climate change. Addressing climate change involves more than talk.

    "China’s CO2 emissions rose in 2017, suggesting that it is still too early to say if CO2 emissions have peaked. China’s Paris Agreement commitment requires its CO2 emissions to peak by 2030."

    https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/china/

    Trump is of course wrong to deny it. But he did not BEGIN our slide towards disaster. That has been going on for years.

    Trump is merely the most convenient scapegoat. What we need is to get off our bottoms and take the issue seriously rather than in a partisan way.

    A friend of mine is trying to encourage some evangelist folk to install solar panels. but in order to succeed, she first has to convince them that this is not part of some anti-Republican strategy.

    You too should realize that saving the globe is more than pursuing an anti-Republican or anti-Trump strategy. Will you?

  88. @Tom Rostock One look at the National Hurricane website under storms by decade will tell you that the average number of storms per decade has dropped. The average number of hurricanes from 1851 to the most recently completed decade 17/decade. From 1851 to 1960, 9 decades exceeded the average, with five decades seeing over 20 storms. The most recent decades since? 14, 12, 15, 14, storms through 2000. Th storms since? Only one was a full 4 when it hit. The average strength of hurricanes in the last 50 years has been 2.4. In the 50 years before that, 3.4.

  89. Trump's comment only serves to emphasize that he has neither paid attention to nor cared in the least about the ongoing tragedy of deaths in Puerto Rico.

    Once he was done with his paper-tossing photo op, nothing mattered to him.

  90. @Lynn Much of his fake presidency has just been a photo-op.

  91. @Lynn

    Photo ops are intended to show the subject in a good light. That's why they're called photo ops (i.e. photo opportunities). That this towel-throwing scene was meant to show the thrower in a good light is both bewildering and disgusting.

  92. “The constant, obvious flattery, contrary to all evidence, of the people around him [Tsar Nicholas I] had brought him to the point that he no longer saw his contradictions, no longer conformed his actions and words to reality, logic, or even simple common sense, but was fully convinced that all his orders, however senseless, unjust, and inconsistent with each other, became sensible, just, and consistent with each other only because he gave them.” Tolstoy.

    Sound familiar? And, how did that work for him?

  93. At first I wished Mr. Trump would not tweet. But now I welcome it since his tweets are so revelatory about the quality of his character, his level of intelligence and the reliability of his mental processes. As terrifying as that knowledge is, I think is is far better to be aware than not.

  94. @Alan Yes, Alan, but now we know it and we know nothing is going to change in trump's little world. Do we still need to be bombarded by it to realize who and what trump is?

  95. @Alan
    If only the GOP would do something about it. They are the major enablers.

  96. @Alan

    I have yet to read a tweet on anything important that made it author look wise. I wish everyone would just stop, especially the POTUS.

  97. The editorial board is confusing the Federal Government's area of responsibility and the Government of Puerto Rico's area of responsibility.

    FEMA has a specific role in disasters. In general, that role does not encompass the scope of what the Editorial Board imagines it to be.

  98. The federal government is responsible for Puerto Rico... they are US citizens after all.

  99. @mannyv
    "The Federal Emergency Management Agency coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror."
    That is directly from FEMA's own web page. So exactly what scope do you think we are all mislead about? Puerto Rico is a US Territory and it's inhabitants are US citizen's. I don't see anywhere in that statement that says "except for territories"?

  100. Days like this only highlight just how phony Donald is when he does try to feign empathy. He can't help revealing how he really feels.

  101. The figure of 3000 did not just arrive unheralded.

    Back when the first lowball numbers were stated, relief hadn’t even reached many small communities, especially the mountainous central part of the island. So no one was even there to count immediate deaths for some time. Then there were the lingering deaths due to lack of medical care or ability to refrigerate certain drugs or lack of electricity for those on oxygen or the effect of heat without air-conditioning on elderly people, especially the frail elderly.

    All of this was reported at the time. Along with the expectation that the death toll would rise as more evidence became available,

    It a a shame and a dreadful indictment that, sitting in the White House with every possible means of gathering accurate information, we have a benighted, self-absorbed man whose own foolishness and arrogance insists on making up his own delusional view of the world - to suit his fantasies.

    How long must this monstrosity of Mis-leadership go on?

  102. As long as the media are determined to use the fallout from every natural disaster as prima facie evidence of Trump's ignorance of climate change, xenophobia, lack of empathy and general lack of fitness for the office of the Presidency, I'm going to tune them out. They have no credibility on the issue.

  103. @c smith
    Thousands of those deaths were easily preventable, had Trump actually done the job of a president and ordered an appropriate disaster relief effort, using the full abilities of the US military.

    Instead, he played golf and had a political rally to make himself feel better (it was only 9 months into his presidency).

  104. At this point I feel that Trump himself is a hoax.
    That he was elected President of the United States is a hoax.
    That he will make America great again is a hoax.
    That he cares about anybody else is a hoax.
    That he has any capabilities in business is a hoax.
    That he understands the world around him is a hoax.
    That is he is a stable genius is a hoax.
    That his hair is real is a hoax.
    That he tells the truth is a hoax, and on and on and on.

  105. @Decebal

    Oh, his hair is real - it's just dyed and redistributed. And a strong wind revealed the bald head underneath.

  106. To me, denying the death of your own citizens by such sheer number is almost no difference from what the Chinese government did to what happened in Tiananmen Square ... perhaps except he did not directly order the killing. Disrespectful to human lives, his own citizens : this is by no means a country's leader nor elected servant.

  107. Yes, of course, call Trump to account for yet another despicable act, but all the outrage directed at him does nothing because the only ones who CAN do something are the Republicans who control Congress! They are every bit as despicable as Trump, and perhaps more so because they hide behind his coattails, too cowardly to come right out and say how they support his policies and actions because they think this will give them deniability. Wrong! Wait until November.

    A reckoning is coming.

  108. Trump's assessment of Puerto Rico was spot on. His quick decisive action saved countless lives. He gave himself credit because the fake news media never does. Good job POTUS. That was truly an unsung success.

  109. @Steve Trump deserves the Nobel Prize for his great humanitarian effort. Who else could throw paper towels with such accuracy?

  110. And yet on and on he goes. It isn't enough to recognize that efforts in Puerto Rico weren't up to the level that were made on the mainland?
    How is it possible that with each passing day the lies are not only rapidly exceeding one's ability to ignore but the immensity and the boldness of the untruths continues to stagger the imagination.
    And we do see that information against powerful men has caused almost immediate loss of power, prestige and position. Yet this perpetrator of documented similar behavior continues his assault on honesty and his lack of dedication to the position to which he has been entrusted.
    Has his base no shame, no awareness of the damage being done to our home in the world? What are they thinking?
    And is there no counter to the constant assault on truth in order to prop up this, the greatest threat to America ever by a holder of the office of president?
    Each lie should not be left to stand without a positive response.

  111. The seriousness, volume and quantity of lies and misleading statements alone should be enough to impeach and convict. If not, someone's going to have to explain to me why it's not.

  112. @Mark Explanation is simple: GOP protects their own, regardless of the consequences. Solution: VOTE!

  113. This is beyond ridiculous. Listening to Trump is a guaranteed assault on reason. Meanwhile the GOP tip toes behind him abnegating all responsibility to reel in a disastrously out of control lying maniac president. Get out and vote in November, vote the GOP out of Congress and out of the Senate.

  114. Having previously read about the questioning of the original numbers, I was grimly unsurprised by the recent report. But not until I read about the horrific tweets by this despicable man did tears come to my eyes, for the dead, their families and for our country.

  115. I would say 'Shame' but he's shameless. It seems as though we're living in a bad psychology experiment, but it's all too real.

  116. He has zero concept of not being able to find and afford whatever it is that you need in life. The consequences of a lack of medical facilities, or the means to reach them and pay when you are treated doesn't even cross his mind. He cannot put himself in the shoes of the less-fortunate because he doesn't care to do so. Just as he reportedly had the braille removed from the elevators because he simply won't allow blind people.

  117. Why is this horror still in office? Oh right, the Republicans don't care, as long as they get their tax cuts, get a SCOTUS justice who will pose a threat to Roe v. Wade, and can deregulate industries that destroy our environment.

  118. If there is anything President Trump does to perfection for his base, it is to make himself look good, in a way that they feel he has every right to do as he needs to protect himself from his detractors. It's only politics and they believe he is doing a terrific job with the economy, etc. This opinion that "Democrats don’t need to lift a finger to make him look bad" because "he is managing that all on his own" will enable him to help his candidates win in the mid-term elections and get him re-elected. If the NY Times believes President Trump does not deserve the office, they must clearly and simply convince his base. Puhleease!

  119. Winners and losers.

    Anyone who died as a result of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico after Trump was there (and given the first fatality numbers) do not count. These people either lacked “killer” survival skills, or they never existed at all. They are not to be counted, nor do they matter, these people are made up, it's all a plot.

    Trump simply must be on top, always with the bigger numbers, (or smaller ones in this case), reality places no role in any of it.
    There is no reflection, no heartfelt feelings of empathy or loss, it's just numbers.

    This man is an empty vessel.

  120. I cannot see how even his best supporters could not be enraged at this manifest display of selfishness, lying about the official death toll and then blaming democrats for trying to make him "look Bad". Its amazing that the only republicans speaking out are from Florida. The others have thrust their fingers into their ears.

    He grabs credit for anything he can get his hands on. The economy is doing well despite his ignorance of the most fundamental laws of economics, his tax cut has benefited mostly the rich, his isolationist foreign policies have alienated our best friends, and he longs for the power of dictators because they control the local media, and he is frustrated because he cannot. He lashes out at anyone who reports the truth if it goes against his truth. If all this together is not 25th amendment stuff, what is?

  121. @qiaohan The people who support Trump are not enraged because all FOX news never "reports" actual news, only Trump lies and propaganda, and that's their only source of their information (beside Russian twitter accounts).

  122. A friend of my son’s was recently back to Puerto Rico for the first time since the hurricanes as her parents kept saying everything was fine, and they were doing well. She was appalled when she finally went for a visit to see the devastation still all around and plans to go back shortly to lend a hand. What is the purpose of the odious statements that her president has made? If someone dies as a result of the fallout of a calamity like Hurricane Maria, of course they are a victim of the storm, even if they die at a later date. Who cares how many were dead when he was there dispensing paper towels? Everything was chaos at time, there was no way to count the dead with any surety, as so many areas of the island were cut off and inaccessible. A clearer picture has now emerged and a there is now a true count of those who perished. And what is this fixation with always blaming everyone else, especially the Democrats – what does the death toll in Puerto Rico have to do with any political party? I pay close attention to the news, too much, some would say, and I have never heard of the president raising billions of dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. I did read that his administration – the Treasury Department and FEMA - were withholding funds that had been promised to Puerto Rico. And then he ends with ‘I love Puerto Rico’! It is unbelievable what this man fantasizes about and presents as fact; he is truly delusional and should be removed from office.

  123. @Jazzie "and plans to go back shortly to lend a hand" That's a fine sentiment, and I'm sure your daughter is a wonderful girl, but more people going to the island is probably about the last thing they need. No offense, truly, but she'd be just one more mouth to feed, one more person looking for a place to sleep, unless she's a doctor or has some other vital skill. There are over three million people there already, so there's no shortage of physical labor, and whatever they can manage with their current resources they're already doing. Supplies and building materials are what they need, or the money to buy them. Your daughter would accomplish a lot more by remaining on the mainland and using whatever excess income she has to send cash to the relief agencies.

  124. I said to a coworker earlier today that Trump's comment about Puerto Rico and the people who lost their lives there angered me more than any other comment he has made. It's one thing to be incompetent like Bush, it's a whole other thing to disrespect the dead after neglecting the island, not to mention blaming the victims.

  125. trumps incompetence far exceeds GWB. At least he loved his country. trump only loves trump.

  126. Has he claimed glory yet for the fact that Florence has been downgraded from a Category 4 hurricane to a Category 2 hurricane in the past couple of days?

    After all, his attempts to paint himself as God seem to play in rotation with his role as a victim.

  127. Trump gave them plenty of paper towels to mop up with. Those Puerto Ricans were too lazy to use them. As he says, they just want everything done for them. So why not take $20 million in disaster relief funds and use them to build more prisons for immigrant children?

  128. Am I the only one who thinks that all the talk of hurricanes and casualties came at a convenient time for Trump.It gave him a rant to distract from the laser like focus of the Woodward book “Fear”.it was nothing but “Fear” until the hurricanes took center stage and he could conveniently change the subject.He will say anything to obfuscate!

  129. The elected members of the GOP are going to wait until...what? To what level of depraved indifference does the president have to sink before somebody decides to grow up, grow a spine and do what is right for the country? What are they worried about? Keeping a job with the lowest public regard numbers in history? Being tweeted at? Really?

  130. Thousands more people died in Puerto Rico than in Benghazi. The lives of the civilians who died in Puerto Rico are no less important than the career diplomats in Benghazi. We should demand to have 8 sets of congressional hearings about the failures of the Trump administration that caused these deaths. We should subject Trump to 11 hours of grueling questining.

    Congressman Trey Gowdy, have you no sense of decency, sir? Congressional Republicans, have you no shame?

  131. @Paul-A Again, you must be kidding if you think Republicans have the capacity for shame or any sense of decency. They have proven that in the divisive tactics they have used in every national election since 1980.

  132. @Paul-A

    Of course you know the answers to your questions are "No" and "No."

  133. You can argue about the Puerto Rico numbers all you want, but somebody definitely stole the strawberries from his refrigerator.

  134. Mr Trump, trying telling the families of the 2975 people who died that it never happened. It is shameful that you would even think it, no less express it out loud on Twitter.

    This is almost as bad as the Alex Jones theory that the 20 1st graders in Newtown didn't really die; it was just a hoax.

    The scary part is that Alex Jones can easily be ignored and dispensed with.

    Donald Trump, however, is the commander-in-chief and leader of the free world.

    Heaven help all of us.

  135. The emperor is naked, evil, and entirely without intellect.

    And the Republican Congress is silent.

    Shame on us, America. Shame on all of us.

  136. @Edward Allen No, shame on the Americans who were duped by the orange evil one, or whose racism and bigotry blinded them to the truth. I do not share in blame for that.

  137. Who will rid us of this shameless, repugnant, abominable man? Have we fallen so low as a society that we can no longer choose between good and evil? If we have so completely lost our moral compass there is very little hope for us with or without Trump. For the fault is not in our stars, but truly in ourselves. May God help us.

    Jerry W N E Kingdom VT

  138. @Jerry N E Kingdom Who will stop the rain?

  139. @Jerry N E Kingdom Who will? You will, if you vote for the Democratic candidate in 2020 instead of a buffoon like Ralph Nader or Jill Stein or their equivalent.

  140. @Jerry N E Kingdom What's this "we" business? Speak for yourself - I voted for Hillary.

  141. Only occasionally has GOP politicians stood up against Trump when he lied and has gone crazy on all of us. What is it now? Over 5000 lies at this point.

    GOPers, I realize you want to win elections and accomplish your agenda but will you at least have enough integrity to stand up when your president (not mine!) lies and deceives our country??? It really makes me hate you, and while there is such thing as a "righteous anger,"(Ephesians 4) I don't think the type of anger/hatred I feel is that helpful, nor righteous. Are there any Republicans who have enough integrity to stand up for what is truthful and honorable rather than what is deceitful and political???

  142. @Dolly Patterson Republicans with integrity? Seriously you must be joking.

  143. The short answer is “No”.

  144. You would think that, at some point, even Republicans will begin to realize how suspicious it is that Trump always claims to have done the most amazing job ever at anything he does.

    Trump is your kid who claims he got all As even as you're reading the Fs on his report card.

  145. Speaking of 3000 deaths ... this is the same man who, just after 9/11, couldn't resist pointing out that one of HIS buildings was now the tallest in lower Manhattan. This is a man whose childish egotism knows no bounds, and whose empathy is microscopic. Yet this is the man whom tens of millions of Americans perceive as their savior. Why?

  146. Because half of his supporters cannot win on a level playing field; and the other half only think of their bank accounts.

  147. @A reader
    Because they are aggrieved victims under attack. Fox News and their Pastor told them so. Because they enjoy this.

  148. Donald Trump belongs in a psychiatric hospital.

    His acute "malignant narcissism is a psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of narcissism, antisocial behavior, aggression, and sadism."

    "Grandiose and always ready to raise hostility levels, the malignant narcissist undermines families and organizations in which they are involved, and dehumanizes the people with whom they associate."

    The social psychologist Erich Fromm first coined the term "malignant narcissism", describing it as a "severe mental sickness" representing "the quintessence of evil".

    He characterized the condition as "the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity".

    Psychoanalyst Edith Weigert saw malignant narcissism as a "regressive escape from frustration by distortion and denial of reality".

    Psychoanalyst Otto Kernberg pointed out that the antisocial personality was fundamentally narcissistic and without morality.

    Malignant narcissism includes a sadistic element creating, in essence, a sadistic psychopath.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malignant_narcissism

    Our Malignant-Narcissist-In-Chief is happy to spit on the graves of Americans, veterans and the entire United States government.

    Impeach
    Indict
    Incarcerate

    November 6 2018

    Sadistic psychopathy is no way to lead the world's marquis democracy.

  149. @Socrates
    Oh gosh...I read "Incarcerate" as "incinerate" on first glance and thought well, we could send him to toss paper towels in the midst of the wildfires?

  150. @Socrates
    I was hoping you would have ended your list with "Incinerate".

  151. @Socrates

    The "three Is": Impeach, indict, incarcerate. I am with you!

    Say it every day as a battle cry.

  152. Something remains in me that is still surprised, shocked but not surprised, or just aghast. How low can he go, I still ask. But he'll probably go much lower before this sorry episode in our history is finished.

    And when I say "shocked," I don't mean it in the Claude Rains sense.

    Truth really is stranger than fiction. Sinclair Lewis never had Buzz Windrip throw paper towels in response to a hurricane.

    Trump's falling approval ratings give the lie to the idea that once a Trumpster, always a Trumpster. Fellow progressives, let's welcome those who have belatedly come to know the truth about Trump. Better late than never.

  153. Why dispute the death toll figures at all? Instead of pushing through Congress a tax bill that will saddle the government with a deficit in the trillions, he could have allocated millions in relief aid for the island last year.

    Apparently, he believes that his very presence in Puerto Rico and his generosity with tossing paper towels was quite enough to get these American citizens through their hardship. He's using hurricanes and human suffering to make political points. What's really bothering him is that the menace of Florence has been the top news item all week and he resents not being the center of attention.

  154. Trump gave himself an A plus for his administration's handling of the hurricane response. If the A stands for what I think it does, then he is correct.

  155. More people than Trump claimed probably died in Puerto Rico as a direct or collateral effect of Hurricane Maria. Whether or not it was 3,000 … who knows? In any event, no man is an island and we should mourn each one of those American deaths.

    It should be noted as to the very high number of deaths in PR (2,975 deaths now are estimated to have occurred in PR out of the total number of deaths estimated for all the venues hit by Maria at 3,057), that no distinction seems to be made between those who died as a direct result of the Hurricane (which was the greatest such natural calamity to befall the island in almost 120 years) and those who died in the aftermath, as electrical power failed and still hasn’t completely been restored after a year and as rescue efforts were impeded by the poor infrastructure that existed there, notably roads that had been washed out.

    The direct casualties of the hurricane may have been as moderate while tragic as they were in other places in the Caribbean and the U.S. if the infrastructure in PR had been more robust, and the collateral deaths certainly would have been more moderate if such had been the case.

  156. Dude, helicopters exist. Too funny for words.

  157. Not good enough, and showing unacceptable moral fatigue. We do not elect Presidents to set new precedents in how low the human character can go. At some time it is appropriate to exercise Constitutional sanctions against the abuse of the national interest. We have no use, no need for opinion leaders to humor us with chumminess toward our revulsion. Eventually a newspaper has to declare whether it believes the nation has interests, and what they are.

  158. He called work done in Puerto Rico a success. I suppose that means that he thinks that the deaths of 3000 Puerto Ricans is a success. At what point does his and his adherents' violent racist ideology become too much to bear for the "checks and balances" parts of our government?

    Clearly, the tri-partite form of government we have is not adequate to protect the interests of the citizens, and really they should all go to jail for not, at least, demanding a full accounting, or commissioning a report like the one created the last time 3000 US citizens died...on Sept 11, 2001

  159. A great day for P.R. If I had known that Trump could raise the dead I may have voted for him myself. On second thought....

  160. I'm a psychologist and our code of ethics does not allow us to offer diagnostic classification without examining our patients in person...............

  161. "... to make him look bad" ? I don't care to make the most authentic and pervasive menace to Western Civilization since syphillis, look bad. I care to get rid of it.

  162. Let's see if Trump goes to the Carolinas and flips paper towels to the people there.

  163. Trump can rant all hr wants about his conspiracy theories. He will of course not be visiting the morgues in Puerto Rico where people have not been buried a year later. The callous attitude of this president is beyond belief unless you know the meaning of the word sociopath.
    Being a hurricane denier is kind of funny when you think about it: there must be millions of pictures of Maria and also the corpses.

  164. When I first heard of trump blaming Democrats for inflating early mortality numbers from the storm, I snorted my beverage out of my nose. Yes, we jaundiced. I'm now coping by cynically laughing out loud.

  165. And this is the leader of the worlds strongest nation?

  166. @Sherry Moser steiker
    No, he isn't. Because The US is NOT the world's strongest nation and hasn't been for quite some time by most measures. The only thing we seem to excel at is spending money on the military industrial complex. MAGA...snort...now that's funny.

  167. You can't really blame Trump for Puerto Rico. The weather was beyond his control and PR's infrastructure was garbage. Not Trump's fault. It's kind of like how you can't blame W for 9/11. Plus, in both cases they had only been president for a few months.

    That said Trump could comport himself much better in Maria's wake and knock off the finger-pointing.

  168. I will bet my house that will NEVER happen

  169. @MIKEinNYC

    Who is blaming Trump for the hurricane or infrastructure? What salient part of this opinion piece eluded you?

  170. Ever read Jane Austen's novel "Persuasion"?

    An Admiral and his wife are renting a house that belongs to a baronet, Sir What's-his-name Eliot. It's a nice house. They like it. Except for one thing:

    The bedroom.

    It's full of mirrors. "Such a dressy man!" exclaims our Admiral. "There was no getting AWAY from oneself." And they get rid of the mirrors. Windows, I expect, are better than mirrors. . . .

    . . .unless you truly ENJOY--looking at yourself. Surveying yourself. SEEING yourself--now on this wall, now in that corner--SEEING yourself here, there, everywhere.

    Ring a bell?

    It's true, New York Times. The man NEVER lacks the ability to appall you.

    My wife (this is NORM speaking)--my wife has been involved in an effort to get medical supplies and basic commodities to Puerto Rico. And the President is quite right. Logistical problems? Indeed yes! They are considerable. I'm not denying it.

    BUT STILL!. . . .

    . . .it's true. The man really DOES make it--all about himself. His administration (so to speak) is a room full of mirrors. Except that even mirrors. . . .

    . .. cannot exclude the din of angry dissent rising from streets and towns and cities all over America.

    And right now. . . .

    . . .that includes Puerto Rico.

    Lots of luck with those mirrors, Mr. President. But I'm with that Admiral.

    I prefer windows.

    When I LOOK at the world, I want to SEE the world.

    And not myself.

  171. A leader leads.

    At some point Trump's constant lying and promotion of made up conspiracy theories will catch up with all of us. There will come a time where the public must know the truth but no one will know what to believe. When this happens, watch out!

    America is leaderless!

  172. The American president shouts to the world that he's a victim of Enemies who make up a fake death toll for political gain!

    Let’s look another historical 'victim':
    “All around me there is treachery, cowardice, and deceit."
    - Tsar Nicholas II Romanov, March 17, 1917, Declaration of Abdication.

    That was the outraged Tsar’s “Tweet” to the world. The supporters of the monarchy agreed. A 300 year old Romanov dynasty was being overthrown.

    America, with a Constitution, Bill of Rights, and universal voting, was once the beacon of democracy for the world.
    Now America has a leader of the same mentality as the last Tsar of Russia.

  173. @Meredith
    Don't forget Louis XVI--he didn't tweet but he was just as much of a birdbrain.

  174. Folks don't come down too hard on the president. He sacrificed bigly on a personal level during Hurricane Maria. I mean he took time away from playing golf at one of his personal properties during the storm. Surly he should get a commendation for throwing paper towels at desperate citizens like they were zoo animals. So what he fudged the math on the official death toll. Trump never been a fan of math, stats, and facts for those things get in way of his 'messaging.' Let's give him a standing ovation and presidential medal of freedom for his hard work and sacrifice. [being satirical of course.]

  175. @damon walton
    “. . . Surly he should get a commendation for throwing paper towels at . . .”
    — – - — – - — – - — – - — – - — – - — – -
    Excellent—if unintended—use of the word “Surly”!
    Well done!

  176. Trump's mendacious incoherence is even more juvenile than the cyber-aggression of a fifth grade bully, but the entire GOP is complicit.

    According to the Times, "Paul D. Ryan, the House speaker, said on Thursday that he had no reason to 'dispute' the higher number of people estimated to have died in Puerto Rico, but avoided directly criticizing Mr. Trump."

    Doubtkess Ryan said this in his most solemnly didactic voice while doing his pathetic impression of a person to be taken seriously. What a shining example of courageous, principled, honest leadership!

    GOP congressional representatives must wear steel rods zip-tied to their torsos. Otherwise they would all collapse into formless puddles of jelly.

  177. The President is weaned on Fox "news". Of course he will spout a conspiracy theory! I am eager for the day when truth will have a home in our government and facts are recognized as the building blocks of any government policy.

  178. Witnessing Obama as president made me favor presidential system; seeing the majority politicians prostrate under a dysfunctional president makes me favor again parliamentary cabinet system.

  179. You would first have to have a conscience. Trump is an empty vessel, a bot faking some Human moves with his little tweets.

    “Anonymous” pointed out that Trump is amoral even to the people enabling him for the bucket of warm spit that’s worth.

    You could have seen this train wreck from outer space and years ago.

  180. It's easy to be so exasperated by Trump's denial of the tragedy that one overlooks the other damning action here: wildly accusing the Democrats of fudging these numbers to undermine him. It's just the latest in a long list of wild and false accusations about everything from Obama lying about his birthplace or tapping his phones to seeing cheering crowds in Jersey City after 9/11.

    Normal people understand that accusers have a moral responsibility to present evidence. Put up or shut up, Mr. President.

  181. Every day, it seems, Donald Trump cannot drag the American presidency through the rancid, floating gutter any slower than he already has. He seems to revel in the degradation of his office. And Republicans do not mind. At all.

    He didn't shoot anyone on Fifth Avenue, but if he did, he would have been arrested. Three-thousand-plus American citizens in Puerto Rico died on his watch. He should have been arrested for not caring about the people under his watch, as his oath prescribes him to do.

    And I think of Barack Obama's grace and humor and intelligence and I despair.

    And I think of George W. Bush's face when he was told that two airplanes incinerated the Twin Towers.

    And I think of Bill Clinton who held a press conference the very next day after Oklahoma City, praising the lawman who stopped Timothy McVeigh.

    And I think of George H. W. Bush who sent air and ground forces into Iraq to teach Saddam Hussein a lesson.

    And I think of Ronald Reagan who joined Mikhail Gorbachev in watching the Berlin Wall blown up

    And I think of Jimmy Carter's gentleness that was tested by the betrayals of his close associates.

    And I think of Gerald Ford's attempts to rebuild trust after Watergate.

    And I think of Richard Nixon's outreach to China and Russia.

    And I think of LBJ's Great Society.

    And I think of JFK's last hours in Dallas.

    And I think of Ike's highway system that opened up America.

    And I think of Harry Truman's integrating the armed forces.

    And I think of FDR and 12/7/1941.

  182. Can anyone explain what kind of personality would brag about what a great job he did, when it is obvious to anyone with the slightest amount of intelligence, what a disaster the FEMA actions was?

    What do you think his motive is? Does he really believe himself, or is it his style of public relations? We know he is a braggart, but most braggarts do no try to take credit for failures. Does he think his fans will believe him? Why would he say anything about it, just let his lackeys talk for him, or make vapid statements, like we tried to to the best we could?

    Is he delusional, hallucinational, is he psychotic, what kind of being is he, is he even a humanoid? We also know that he promotes and brags about his hotels, and golf clubs, they are the best he says. He said the same thing about the Atlantic City Casinos while bankrupting them. He seems to have fellow travelers that go along with him, even though he has swindled many who did. He got people to buy into his fake university, he is a master con man, the suckers took the bait and voted for him. The mark of a real con, they get taken and come back for more, there is just no accounting for it.

  183. @David Underwood

    He also took credit for his failed attempt to "prove" that Barack Obama was foreign born, patting himself on the back for raising the question. It was in one of the debates with Hillary Clinton.

  184. My six-year-old is more mature, has a better sense of right and wrong, and is actually able to admit when she has made a mistake. She also has empathy for others, something Trump completely lacks. Seriously, how can anyone stand being around him? I almost feel sorry for his family and staff. I say almost because if they had any character themselves, they would come forward and urge Congress to remove him from office.

  185. I often find much of the staff more repellent: it seems he's inescapably narcissistic, but that they are willing to come out and lie on his behalf is the most revolting part. Take your clearly unfit relative/friend/boss/coworker out to a nice home and let them rant and rave to their heart's content in your inexplicable company.

    Don't foist them upon a nation and world, and make poor attempts to cover up their blatant unfitness.

  186. @Rose J They're too busy spending his money to worry their little heads about America.

  187. Each time that this malignant narcissist opens his foul mouth, a Democratic takeover of the Senate comes into a clearer focus. His raging amorality will, at least, yank Congressional control from the compromised, complicit, and grimy hands of Trump’s Republican enablers.

  188. @John Grillo
    One can hope - AND VOTE!

  189. There is something, probably several elements, that make bipeds human. Whatever it is or they are, President Trump never received any such attributes.

    Hurricane Florence is devastating the coastal southeast right now. This is no time to wallow in imagined victimhood about last year's death-dealing cyclone.

    That mismanagement is history. Don't repeat it to feed some pathological need to look like Superman in spandex tights way too tight.

  190. This latest remark by Trump is a stunning example of the claims Bob Woodward makes in his latest book. Trump can’t listen to his administration’s corrections and facts. He gets something in his head and that’s it! He loves to lie and gets attention for it too.
    Let’s keep track of how many things he does that are consistent with Woodward’s book!

  191. I’m going to have to agree with Trump. I watched on Twitter as journalists clamored for the “Trump’s Katrina” narrative shortly after the storm hit. The death toll was at 64 and then the NYT paid for a study that said 1000 died.

    These deaths were indirectly caused by the storm. The study in question even includes suicides The methodology of counting deaths due to a storm varies. Even this 3000 number is an estimate and counts deaths months after the fact.

    Trump is bombastic but he’s right to question the methodology and the extreme jump in deaths. There’s nothing definitive about the count.

  192. After Hurricane Irma hit South Florida last year, 10 elderly people died in their nursing home due to lack of power. The death toll in PR is most certainly in the thousands, and many could have been avoided with a proactive response from the government. It's not a right or left issue. These are human lives. American lives.

  193. @Ed

    Trump is not "questioning methodology." He's making up a nonsensical conspiracy theory about democrats coming up with a different count. The counts were produced by University researchers using the best science and statistics available. They are still being refined. The methods used were published. You can be sure Trump did not look into these methods, which is what "questioning methodology" would imply. He doesn't care about methodology. He only cares to defend his ego, to deny any failure or responsibility, and to attack his critics in the ugliest ways possibly.

  194. @Ed - Trump is not questioning the methodology. He is incapable of understanding the methodology even if it were explained to him.

  195. Strange that Trump always portrays himself both as a victim and as a strong guy who never loses.

  196. How can Americans tolerate this president?
    How can one tolerate denial of death?
    How can honesty survive with the American believe in the Republican Parties 25 yr Attack upon truth, honesty, democracy.

    Proven over and over.
    Americans evidently rather believe in “ narratives” instead of facts.

    We are loosing OUR Republic, Democracy, & Humanity.

  197. @Mark Kircher Pretty sure that the last election showed that at least HALF of Americans do NOT believe in "narratives" instead of facts.

  198. Well, at least give Trump some credit, for consistency and predictability … the lies, paranoia, egocentrism, and ignorance of facts just never stop. Sadly, he is the true embodiment of the phrase that when your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like nail. He clearly is incapable of responding to anything in any other way. But, like the horror show monster you think has been vanquished only to return and assault again and again, his monotonous act is getting old. November 2016 and 2020 cannot come fast enough.

  199. @Len
    Let's give Trump credit for making the Bush II administration seem like the good old days

  200. I’m a 65-year-old Democrat. I was too young to comprehend much until Kennedy. I didn’t like Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Bush. But none were as despicable and morally bankrupt as our current specimen. And he is a specimen ..... for psychological study.

  201. It's all about trump all the time .
    If the press could just join in a concerted effort to
    completely ignore him, it would be the best thing
    It could do.
    So sick of this man
    ,
    So sick of seeing what this country has become.

  202. I heard some pundit explain that being empathetic was not in the presidents wheelhouse. But recall his tweet on Manafort - "I feel very badly for Paul Manfort and his wonderful family."

    I guess empathy is something you save for your criminal family.

  203. @Jenifer

    When he says he feels badly, that does not mean that he feels anything. He lies about that too.

  204. If a statistically created number of death after several months of the incident is used to attack Trump politically, he is justified to hit back. It has nothing to do with honoring or not honoring the victims. Trump is well aware of the political games you people play and don't complain if he hits you back. He knows very well what happened to other Presidents when you people created a narrative like this and they did not react out of fear of negative comments. They got buried by the narrative and they never recovered. If America needs to treat Puerto Rico like any other state, it has to become a state. So, stop complaining. You people do not want to be a part of America, so, don't complain if you did not get full benefit. Probably Trump gave you more than you deserved, but you are attacking him. Blame your government over there for not taking care of you properly. Do not blame Trump if you did not get proper medical care even though he provided you everything. That is not the President's job. Ask the mayor who complains too much about Trump, what she did to help you.

  205. So do the victims of 9/11 that didn’t actually die on 9/11 not count either?

  206. I don't see either parties being any better than the other or the candidate's on either side being any better. If you google Uranium One and get the full details you find out that Hillary signed 100 ranchers land away to Uranium One which was a Canadian Company with ties to the Russians. Namely Rosatom
    Rosatom now owns the land and we know who controls any Russian Company. Obama didn't do any better. It seams that all Politicians are liars. How can one man be blamed for everything that happened in Puerto Rico? There are organizations that were in place that obviously didn't do a very good job. They were not prepared for a storm this big. It wasn't just one huricane that happened. One man can only do so much. More people died as a result of not getting what they needed after the storm than died when the storm hit. However I do not agree with what Trump said about the number of deaths. He never should have said the number if it was not the truth. Unless the truth comes out about why it happened and how it happened the same will happen again. I am sure I will be attacked for what I've said but everyone is entitled to there view. Talk is cheap. What can be done to prepare for the next storm? I will not argue with anyone about what took place. I consider argueing as ignorance. I will discuss what happened and what the answer might be so it does not happen again. Attacking everyone does not help or resolve problems.

  207. @Garry Tidwell
    If the President was at all concerned about the citizens of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit the island then he would have organized a much better response, such as sending out a large contingent of the National Guard. Instead he spent his time criticizing the Mayor in Puerto Rico.

  208. This editorial makes no attempt to explain why the death toll went from 64 to nearly 2,975. In what way were these additional 2,011 deaths "caused" by the hurricane? Did they drown? Were they hit by falling trees? Electrocuted by downed power lines? Swept out to sea? No. As the report providing the figure of 2,975 states:“The official government estimate of 64 deaths from the hurricane is low primarily because the conventions used for causal attribution only allowed for classification of deaths attributable directly to the storm, e.g., those caused by structural collapse, flying debris, floods and drownings." The new and far higher death toll is based on a much broader causation analysis. To take only one example, people who could not get to the hospital and died for lack of care were counted in the new study. It is not Trump's fault the island's power and road system failed completely. However, he is being blamed as though it was.

  209. @Paul McBride

    But it's definitely his fault that his administration's response to those issues happening to American citizens was so intensely poor. It's definitely his fault that they have not done anything to resolve it in the last year.

    He's being blamed for his awful response to his denial of his *other* awful response--and it is deservedly so.

  210. @Paul McBride

    It is Trump's fault for not mounting a response anywhere near what was called for to prevent most of the indirect deaths. Given the enormous logistical capabilities of our military and civilian aviation such a response was eminently possible. Trump has proven himself to be entirely without empathy for anyone other than his disgusting self. So no one should be surprised at his failure.

  211. @Paul McBride: The Puerto Rico deaths are probably counted the same way the Katrina deaths were.

  212. This strange exercise in self-serving denial of truth that there were near 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico is reminiscent of one thing; the denial of the reality of the tragic deaths of school-children at Sandy Hook by that foulest of conspiracy theorists, Alex Jones.

    It is no better than that. Given their relative stations, Trump's conspiracy theory denial (the Democrats did it!) is arguably worse than that of Jones.

  213. So what else is new?
    What agency / agencies are responsible for this miscalculation, especially after so long of a time?
    Only NOW we find the number is 43 times higher than first posted?
    As for Donald Trump, nothing left to say.

  214. “Democrats don’t need to lift a finger to make him look bad. He is managing that all on his own.”

    Yes, indeed! It would be an insult to President Bush to call this Trump’s Katrina. Does Trump even realize that the people who die during a hurricane can be attributed to an act of god, but those who die in its aftermath is invariably due to the negligence of the government at the local, state and federal levels. And, in this case, the buck eventually stops at the Oval Office.

    Trump’s callous disregard of the 2975 American lives – that were lost in Puerto Rico long after Hurricane Maria had wreaked its havoc – is an abomination. While foreign terrorists were responsible for the lives lost in the 9/11 attacks, it’s our own government that is responsible for the lives lost following the 9/20/17 hurricane. Trump’s deliberate politicization of the tragedy in Puerto Rico puts him in a class of his own – he has fallen so low, even sewer rats would look down upon him.

  215. Have you no sense of decency?
    A quote from a different era, but so appropriate for this time and this man.

  216. I want him to keep talking just like this till November 6, keep talking Don only you can save us from you.