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Trump is Failing His Latest Test: Hurricane Laura

Hurricane Laura is now a strong Cat 4, with winds up to 150 MPH (Cat 5 is 158 MPH, and it may get there). Storm surges are expected to push creeks and maybe rivers to reverse their flow. A meteorologist on MSNBC just predicted 15-foot flooding in Lake Charles, LA., which is only 15 feet above MSL. (Lake Charles is just north of Calcasieu Lake on the map above.) The NHC is saying the surge is “unsurvivable” and they may evacuate their Lake Charles office.

And what is the Malingnant Mangoface doing about it? Well, two weeks ago, on August 8, he ordered FEMA to . . . give up $45 billion of its $70 billion Disaster Relief Fund.

To provide financial assistance for the needs of those who have lost employment as a result of the pandemic, I [Trump] am directing up to $44 billion from the DRF at the statutorily mandated 75 percent Federal cost share be made available for lost wages assistance to eligible claimants, to supplement State expenditures in providing these payments.  At least $25 billion of total DRF balances will be set aside to support ongoing disaster response and recovery efforts and potential 2020 major disaster costs.

Twenty. Five. Billion. To cover all damages and disasters from the busiest hurricane season in 15 years. Laura alone is predicted to cause $90 billion in damage.

This tidbit comes in the middle of a Dana Milbank column: Hurricane Laura looms, and Trump is again the man without a plan, where he points out that $44Bn won't come close to helping the unemployed, but will shortchanged FEMA just as Laura is smashing in to Texas and Louisiana.

And while Trump (incorrectly, but I repeat myself) blasted Obama for campaigning during Hurricane Sandy — in fact, both Obama and Romney suspended their campaigns — the Narcissist-in-Chief has no intention of being distracted from the bootlicking the RNC has arranged for him.

On Wednesday, Hurricane Laura approached the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas with a storm surge that the National Hurricane Center called “unsurvivable” and “catastrophic.” But Trump decreed that the show would go on: The Republican National Convention would resume Wednesday night as scheduled.

Just like the coronavirus, Trump didn’t cause the crisis, but he has no clue what to do about it:

Trump didn’t cause Hurricane Laura, but the storm highlights his lack of a plan to lessen climate change, to diversify the nation’s energy supply (major oil and gas facilities are in Laura’s crosshairs) or to prepare a muscular government response.

Dana cites the religious right’s habit of blaming disasters on our not getting right with God, and points out the hypocrisy of their silence now:

Some of Trump’s supporters on the religious right see disasters as morality tales in the form of messages from God. Pat Robertson blamed the Haiti earthquake on a “pact with the devil.” The late Jerry Falwell Sr. blamed the 9/11 attacks on “the gays and lesbians,” among others. John Hagee blamed Hurricane Katrina on the “level of sin” in New Orleans. By the same reasoning, such people might ask, amid pestilence and calamity: Why does God hate Donald Trump?

Did I mention there’s an asteroid headed our way on election day? Even Pharaoh didn’t have one of those. (It will almost certainly miss, but what are the odds that Trump claims credit for that?)

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Trump’s basic response to any crisis, especially one that he didn’t manufacture, is to close his eyes and pretend it isn’t there.

Now Laura looms. Yet the Republican convention goes on. And Trump keeps tweeting about “LAW and ORDER” and how “China would own our Country” if Joe Biden were elected.
Once again the man without a plan offers only flimflam.

I haven’t seen anything from Joe Biden or the Democrats on Laura yet; maybe they’re biding their time to see if Trump somehow manages to save the day for once and act like a president. He ought to, if for no other reason than he's losing to Biden in Texas by one point in Monday's Public Policy Polling.

I hate to use someone else’s misery to score political points, but we’re up against a monster here, one who has made and is making the misery worse. ANY tool, any event, anything we can use to show people how much harm he has done and is doing, if that persuades to vote him out before he can do more harm, is something we must use, for the sake of the country.

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