Photo: People line up to buy gasoline at a gas station after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico September 22, 2017. (Alvin Baez/Reuters)
FROM THIS EPISODE
In an impromptu news conference on the White House lawn today, President Trump talked about an executive order on healthcare he might sign next week. He said tax reform — next up on the GOP agenda -- won't be a giveaway to the wealthy. He told reporters that, "My plan is for the working people and my plan is for jobs… I don't benefit. I don't benefit, in fact very strongly as you see, I think there's very little benefit for people of wealth." Ben Brody, who covers lobbying and government ethics for Bloomberg, says despite the release of few details, the plan has generated quick response from business interests, organized labor and Democrats.
It's been a week since Hurricane Maria became the second storm to hit Puerto Rico — leaving a devastated island behind. The humanitarian crisis gets worse by the day. There's not enough water and people are dying. There's been concern that the federal help's not coming soon enough, but yesterday President Trump didn't buy that, calling the federal response "great" and "amazing." But a week after the island lost all electrical power FEMA is just getting up to speed. There's already talk of rebuilding, but we hear that many people are still isolated while others feel "hopeless." Still others are lined up to move to the mainland, where there's a growing awareness of the obvious: native Puerto Ricans are American citizens.
Hector Alejandro Santiago Rodriguez, horticulture and agronomy specialist
Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald (@PatriciaMazzei)
Darren Soto, US House of Representatives (@DarrenSoto)
Chris Skopec, Project Hope (@projecthopeorg)
Armando Valdés-Prieto, attorney, writer and political strategist (@armandovaldes)
What Hurricane Maria taught Mazzei about the people of Puerto Rico
Soto calls on US government to urgently act on humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands
Project Hope's emergency response to a devastated Puerto Rico
In the aftermath of yesterday's GOP primary in Alabama, President Trump has deleted his tweets supporting incumbent US Senator Luther Strange, the loser. Now, he's all in favor of former Judge Roy Moore, the religious right-winger who brandished a pistol on stage during one campaign rally. Trump seemed to be having second thoughts about supporting Senator Strange -- even last Friday, before any votes had been cast.
Last night after defeating Senator Strange, Moore told supporters, "Together we can make America Great. We can support the president. Don't let any in the press think that because he supported my opponent, I do not support him and his agenda… but we have to return the knowledge of God to the US Congress."
All this is "setting the stage for a "worsening" Republican civil war," according to Robert Costa of the Washington Post and host of Washington Week on PBS.
More From To the Point
Author Masha Gessen on the appeal of Putin and Trump Masha Gessen was born in Russia but emigrated with her parents to the United States. She returned in the early 1990s when political change was afoot. And since then, she’s become a leading observer - and critic - of Russian president Vladamir Putin. She fled Russia again in 2013. In this special podcast, Warren Olney talks with Gessen about her new book, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia .
A month later, Puerto Ricans still stranded by Hurricane Maria Most people in Puerto Rico are still without electricity, and some are drinking from a well contaminated by a superfund site. President Trump's accused of a "shocking lack of compassion" compared to speedy assistance after hurricanes hit Texas and Florida.
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